Step Right Up—Meaningful Use Incentives are Adding Up
In 2011, the federal government began offering financial rewards for providers to implement electronic health records (EHRs) in caring for their Medicare and Medicaid patients. For eligible doctors, these “meaningful use” incentives could provide you with extra income of up to $44,000 over five years in Medicare incentives and $63,750 in Medicaid incentives over six years.
To qualify for the Medicare program, you need to accept Medicare patients, but there is no minimum number or percentage. You must also spend less than 90% of your time practicing psychiatry in an emergency department or inpatient psych unit. For the Medicaid program, you must have a minimum of 30% Medicaid patients or practice mainly in a federally qualified health center or rural health center and have a minimum of 30% indigent patients.
The incentives have added up. As of May 2014, the government had paid out $23.7 billion in meaningful use incentives to US physicians, according to a report on the website GovernmentHealthIT (http://bit.ly/1oGJnUv).
What do you have to do to get your share of this extra spending money? We wrote about this in our December 2011 issue (http://bit.ly/U5tKwt), but in a nutshell, here’s the scoop:
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