Attestation for EHR Incentive Program Is Now Open

Date: May 4th, 2011Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use

Meaningful Use attestation for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program is now open to eligible physicians and hospitals through the Centers for the Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website. Colorado primary care providers are encouraged to use Colorado Regional Extension Center's (CO-REC) services, provided at no cost, to help guide them through the attestation process.

Do You Qualify for Incentive Payments?

In order to qualify for Medicare incentives, physicians must prove they have a certified EHR system and that they have met the requirements of Stage One Meaningful Use. Stage One consists of 25 "Meaningful Use objectives" and six "clinical-quality measures."

To qualify for an incentive payment, eligible professionals need only meet 20 of the 25 Meaningful Use objectives. This includes all 15 of the "core objectives" and any five of 10 "menu set objectives." Additionally, eligible professionals must report on 6 total clinical quality measures: 3 required core measures (substituting alternate core measures where necessary) and 3 additional measures selected from a set of 38 clinical quality measures.

Eligible hospitals and critical-access providers must report on 14 core objectives, five of 10 additional objectives and 15 clinical-quality measures.

Attestation Requires Registration

Prior to attestation, all providers must register through the CMS website. The website also provides details on the attestation process and answers commonly asked questions, such as:

  • How will I attest for the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs?
  • When can I attest?
  • What can I do now to prepare for attestation?
  • When will I get paid?
  • How will I get paid?

Primary Care Physician Is First in the State to Complete Attestation Process

Dr. Michael Mignoli of Lone Tree was the first physician in Colorado to successfully submit his attestation for the EHR Incentive Program on the first day of attestation, April 18.

"Attestation for Meaningful Use is another step along my fifteen year journey using electronic medical records to provide efficient and high quality care for my patients," said Dr. Mignolie. "The expertise and encouragement of CO-REC was invaluable to accomplish attestation."

Incentive payments for the Meaningful Use of EHRs are expected to begin in May 2011 and will continue over the next several years. Physicians can receive up to $18,000 in 2011 or 2012 and up to a total of $44,000 through 2015 if they continue to qualify. Hospitals begin with base payments of $2 million a year through 2015.

"In addition to helping providers choose and implement an EHR, CO-REC is here to guide physicians through the attestation process for Meaningful Use," said Robyn Leone, director of CO-REC. "We remain committed to reaching our goal of assisting more than 2,200 priority primary care providers to become meaningful users of electronic health records by 2012."