Because most CMAs (AAMA) work under the direct supervision of “eligible professionals” (as defined in the rules of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS]), this is the first of five upcoming posts focusing on some common questions surrounding the provisions of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program that are applicable to eligible professionals, not those provisions that are applicable to “eligible hospitals” and “critical access hospitals.”
Q: Are there differences between the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program and the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program?
A: Yes. A detailed discussion of the differences is beyond the scope of this post. However, an important fact is that eligible professionals cannot participate in both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. They must choose which of the two programs they want to participate in.
Q: Are these programs mandatory?
A: In a sense, they are not. However, note the following from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guide An Introduction to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for Eligible Professionals:
Medicare eligible professionals who do not meet the requirements for meaningful use by 2015 and in each subsequent year are subject to payment adjustments to their Medicare reimbursements that start at 1 percent per year, up to a maximum 5 percent annual adjustment.