Skip to Main Content

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

  • In October 2017, CMS created the "Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs Prevention of Information Blocking Attestation" Fact Sheet, which provides more information on steps health care providers are required to take to demonstrate that they have not knowingly and willfully limited or restricted the interoperability of their certified EHR technology (CEHRT). Visit the Certified
    EHR Technology webpage
    for more information on health IT requirements for the EHR Incentive Programs.
  • Beginning on January 2, 2018, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) attesting to CMS will 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.
  • On August 14, 2017, CMS published the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) prospective Payment System Final Rule,, which contains several changes that will directly affect the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. To access the published final rule, please click here.

Dates to Remember

January 1 – December 31, 2017
  • 2017 EHR Incentive Programs Reporting Period
November 30, 2017
  • Deadline for CAHs to submit a hardship application for the 2016 payment adjustment based on the 2016 EHR reporting period.
  • Deadline for eligible hospitals who believe they have been subject to a 2018 Medicare payment adjustment in error to submit a reconsideration application.
January 1- 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.

Background

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.

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) Information Center is open to assist you with all of your registration and attestation system inquiries. EHR Information Center Hours of Operation:

    9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Central Time) Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.  

    1-888-734-6433* (primary number) *(press option 1) or 888-734-6563 (TTY number)