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Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs

The Stage 1 final rule set the foundation for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs by establishing requirements for the electronic capture of clinical data, including providing patients with electronic copies of health information.
The Stage 2 final rule expanded upon the Stage 1 criteria with a focus on ensuring that the meaningful use of EHRs supported the aims and priorities of the National Quality Strategy.  Stage 2 criteria encouraged the use of health IT for continuous quality improvement at the point of care and the exchange of information in the most structured format possible.

Stay up to date on the latest EHR news and updates by following us on Twitter and by subscribing to the EHR Listserv.

Announcements

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the attestation deadline for providers participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program to Monday, March 13, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
  • On November 14, 2016 we published the Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Organ Procurement Organization Reporting and Communication; Transplant Outcome Measures and Documentation Requirements; Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs; Payment to Nonexcepted Off-Campus Provider-Based Department of a Hospital; Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program; Establishment of Payment Rates Under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Nonexcepted Items and Services Furnished by an Off-Campus Provider-Based Department of a Hospital final rule with comment period which contains several changes that will directly affect the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. To access the published rule, please click here.
  • On November 4, 2016 we published the Medicare Program; Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive under the Physician Fee Schedule, and Criteria for Physician-Focused Payment Models final rule with comment period. MACRA replaces the Sustainable Growth Rate formula by paying clinicians for the value and quality of care they provide. To access the published rule, please click here.
  • To learn more about the Quality Payment Program and its changes for Medicare eligible professionals currently eligible for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, visit the official website. Subscribe to the Quality Payment Program listserv for updates.
  • All Medicaid eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs should refer to their State Medicaid offices for information on attestation timeframes for the 2016 program year.

Dates to Remember

2017 EHR Incentive Programs Reporting Period January 1 – December 31, 2017
HIMSS17 February 19 – 23, 2017
2017 EP Payment Adjustment Reconsideration Application Deadline  February 28, 2017
CY 2016 EHR Incentive Programs Attestation and eCQM Submission Deadline March 13, 2017
Deadline for Appeal Filing for eCQM Reporting/Eligibility/Failed Reporting Meaningful Use March 28, 2017
CY 2017 EHR Incentive Programs Attestation Deadline for First-time Participants October 1, 2017

 

About the EHR Incentive Program

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111–5) was enacted on February 17, 2009. Title IV of Division B of ARRA amends Titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act (the Act) by establishing incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs), and Medicare Advantage Organizations to promote the adoption and meaningful use of interoperable health information technology (HIT) and qualified electronic health records (EHRs). These incentive payments are part of a broader effort under the HITECH Act to accelerate the adoption of HIT and utilization of qualified EHRs.

Beginning in 2011, the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs were established to encourage eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to adopt, implement, upgrade (AIU), and demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

  • 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 ensuring that the meaningful use of EHRs supported the aims and priorities of the National Quality Strategy.  Stage 2 criteria encouraged the use of health IT 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 specifies criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and CAHs must meet in order to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs in 2015 through 2017 (Modified Stage 2) and in Stage 3 in 2017 and beyond.

EHR Incentive Program Resources

Use the navigation bar on the left side of the page to learn more about the EHR Incentive Programs in 2015-2017, including program requirements for specific years, registration and attestation information, payment adjustment & hardship exceptions, clinical quality measures and more.

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

Stay up to date on the latest EHR 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.

Table: Stage of Meaningful Use Criteria by First Year

First Year Demonstrating Meaningful Use

Stage of Meaningful Use

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019 and Future Years

2011

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3

 

Stage 3

Stage 3

2012

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3

 

Stage 3

Stage 3

2013

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3

 

Stage 3

Stage 3

2014

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3

 

Stage 3

Stage 3

2015

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3

 

Stage 3

Stage 3

2016

NA

Modified Stage 2

Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3

 

Stage 3

Stage 3

2017

NA

NA

Modified Stage 2 or Stage 3

 

Stage 3

Stage 3

2018

NA

NA

NA

 

Stage 3

Stage 3

2019 and Future Years

NA

NA

NA

NA

Stage 3