Q and A: Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (Post 1 of 5)

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.

About Donald A. Balasa

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, chief executive officer and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession.
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14 Responses to Q and A: Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (Post 1 of 5)

  1. Keir says:

    Are saying that a profit and a non-profit hospital with 100 + employees cannot participate in both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs? Again, you did indicate a detailed discussion of the differences is beyond the scope of this post.

  2. Diane Albarella says:

    where do I go to update my application of EHR for medicare? I am unsure of what it entails and I am not working at present so to understand this would be a plus for me. plus, I do want to keep up with software on eletronic health records. please advise. I also received some months ago something from ahima on tumor registrars. Is cancer expected to become more widespread?

    • Thank you for your questions, Diane. It is good to hear from you!

      It might be easier to address your questions during a telephone conversation. Are you available for a call this week?

      I look forward to talking with you, Diane.

      Don

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org

      Visit us on Facebook! http://www.aama-ntl.org/facebook

      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

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  11. Barbara says:

    I want to make sure that I understand, so please bear with me. If I am reading these articles correct, it states that only Certified Medical Assistants can enter information into the EHR system. Correct?

  12. Karen says:

    I have been following your trail of Q & A’s re the “certification” of Medical Assistant’s and their ability to enter CPOE for Meaningful Use (MU). I am in a practice in South Florida and would like to know, “Does graduation from an accredited school provide the “needed credentials” for MAs to enter charges for MU in the State of Florida?”

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