Q and A: Eligible Professionals and Core Objectives, Part 1 (Post 2 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 post focuses 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 different definitions of “eligible professionals” for the EHR incentive programs?

A: Yes. As in the previous post, an in-depth treatment is too lengthy to be presented. Physicians, osteopaths, and dentists are deemed to be eligible professionals under both programs, however.

Q: How do eligible professionals qualify for incentive payments under the programs? 

A: Eligible professionals qualify for incentive payments by demonstrating “meaningful use” of “certified EHR technology.” More specifically, meaningful use is proven (in part) by meeting minimum requirements for each Core Objective. The minimum requirements for each Core Objective are referred to in the CMS rules and publications as “measures.” The measures are sometimes quantitative in nature.

Q: Are there any exemptions for certain eligible professionals?

A: Yes. CMS has provided “exclusions” for eligible professionals who cannot meet some of the Core Objectives because of the small size of their practices, or the highly specialized nature of their practices.

Q: Are there partial payments if an eligible professional meets some, but not all, of the Core Objectives?

A: No. An eligible professional must meet all Core Objectives. Failure to meet any one Core Objective would result in no incentive payment.

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.
This entry was posted in Scope of Practice and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Q and A: Eligible Professionals and Core Objectives, Part 1 (Post 2 of 5)

  1. Its hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what youre talking about! Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s