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Up to $44,000 In Federal Support For EHR Conversion

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The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (ARRA), authorizes $20 billion to assist in the development of a health information technology (IT) infrastructure.

ARRA authorizes $17.2 billion in incentives through Medicare and Medicaid to assist providers in adopting health IT (EHR). From 2011-2015, physicians that demonstrate “meaningful use” of electronic health record (EHR) technology and performance during the reporting period of each payment year will be eligible for positive payment incentives.

Physicians are able to receive incentives equal to 75 percent of their allowable Medicare Part B charges, subject to the following caps:

• First payment year:

• Second year: $12,000

• Third year: $8,000

• Fourth year: $4,000

• Fifth $2,000

Beginning in 2015, physicians who are not meaningfully using EHRs will receive negative Medicare payment updates.

What Is A Meaningful User?

A meaningful user is a physician who:

• Uses a certified EHR in a meaningful manner, which includes the use of electronic prescribing

• Uses a certified EHR that can accommodate the electronic exchange of health information to improve quality

• Submits information on clinical quality measures, as chosen by the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, for the reporting period

Certified EHR technology is defined as that which includes patient demographic and clinical health information, including medical history and problem lists, with the ability to provide clinical decision support. The decision support tools should support physician order entry and be able to capture and query quality information. The tools should also be able to exchange and integrate health information from outside sources.

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