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Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs

NOTE: The Medicare EHR Incentive Program for returning eligible professionals (EPs) ended with the 2016 reporting period. Starting in 2017, Medicare eligible clinicians report to the Quality Payment Program. The attestation deadlines for the 2016 EHR reporting period to avoid the 2018 payment adjustment for returning EPs was March 13, 2017.

To learn more about the Quality Payment Program, visit the official website. Subscribe to the Quality Payment Program listserv for updates.

Latest News

  • The Medicare eligible hospital and critical access hospital (CAH) attestation deadline has been changed from Wednesday, February 28, 2018, to Friday, March 16, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. This extension is being granted to provide hospitals additional time to submit attestation data and eCQM data.
  • CMS’ Annual Call for Measures for Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program is now open. CMS is encouraging stakeholders to identify and submit measures to be considered for inclusion in rulemaking in calendar year (CY) 2019. Measure implementation will be optional in CY 2020 but required beginning in CY 2021. Submit a measure proposal submission form by June 29, 2018.
  • CMS published the “Participating in the EHR Incentive Programs vs. MIPS in 2017” fact sheet, which provides a comprehensive overview of the EHR Incentive Programs and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), compares reporting and participation requirements for both programs, and provides resources for more information. Visit the Quality Payment Program Resource Library to review the fact sheet and other Quality Payment Program materials.
  • Eligible hospitals and CAHs attesting to CMS may submit their 2017 meaningful use attestations to the QualityNet Secure Portal (QNet). Find out more here.
  • Now Available: CMS’ eCQM annual update for calendar year (CY) 2018 reporting. For more information, the updated measure specifications are available on the eCQI Resource Center for Eligible Hospitals and CAHs, and EPs and Eligible Clinicians.

Dates to Remember

January 1 through December 31, 2018
  • 2018 EHR Incentive Programs Reporting Period.
January 1 through February 28, 2018
  • Eligible hospitals and CAHs attesting to CMS submit their 2017 meaningful use attestations to the QNet.
June 29, 2018
  • Deadline to submit measure proposals for CMS' Annual Call for Measures.
July 1, 2018
  • Deadline for Eligible Hospitals to submit hardship exception forms based on the 2017 reporting year.
November 30, 2018
  • Deadline for CAHs to submit hardship exception forms based on the 2017 reporting year.


In 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs to encourage Eligible Professionals (EPs), Eligible Hospitals, and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to adopt, implement, upgrade (AIU), and demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology (CEHRT).

The EHR Incentive Programs consist of three stages:

  • Stage 1 set the foundation for the EHR Incentive Programs by establishing requirements for the electronic capture of clinical data, including providing patients with electronic copies of health information.
  • Stage 2 expanded upon the Stage 1 criteria with a focus on advancing clinical processes and ensuring that the meaningful use of EHRs supported the aims and priorities of the National Quality Strategy. Stage 2 criteria encouraged the use of CEHRT for continuous quality improvement at the point of care and the exchange of information in the most structured format possible.
  • In October 2015, CMS released a final rule that modified Stage 2 to ease reporting requirements and align with other quality reporting programs. The final rule also established Stage 3 in 2017 and beyond, which focuses on using CEHRT to improve health outcomes.

Have questions about which stage of meaningful use you're supposed to be in? Review this table to determine appropriate stage of participation based on your first year in the EHR Incentive Programs.

For more information about Stage 1 and Stage 2, visit the Requirements for Previous Years page.

Use the navigation bar on the left side of the page to learn more about the EHR Incentive Programs, including program requirements for specific years, registration and attestation information, payment adjustment & hardship exceptions, clinical quality measures (CQMs) and more.

You can also stay up to date on the latest EHR Incentive Program news and updates by following us on Twitter and by subscribing to the EHR Listserv.

How to Participate in the EHR Incentive Programs

Are you ready to register and/or attest? Visit the Registration and Attestation page and review these checklists to help you prepare to participate.

For Registration and Attestation system inquiries:

  • Medicare eligible professionals (EPs) may contact the QPP help desk for assistance for participation years 2016 and earlier and choose the EHR Incentive Program legacy call option 1 (866) 288-8292 or
  • Medicaid EPs and hospitals participating with the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program with inquiries about their participation should contact their state Medicaid agencies.
  • Medicare & dually eligible hospitals participating in the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs may contact the QNet help desk for assistance or 1 (866) 288-8912.