Colorado Medicaid EHR Incentive Program to Roll Out Soon

Date: July 20th, 2011Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: EHRs, Meaningful Use

CORHIO to Support Provider Outreach and Communications on behalf of Medicaid

Later this month, CORHIO will assist the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) as it implements the Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. The program will provide incentive payments to eligible providers as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate "Meaningful Use" of certified EHR technology.

Under the terms of the agreement with HCPF, CORHIO will be responsible for program coordination as well as provider education and communications, providing a central point of contact on behalf of Medicaid. CORHIO will not be responsible for issuing payments to providers, but will instead help coordinate the implementation of the registration and attestation system being provided by a third-party vendor and ensure Colorado providers are educated about the steps necessary to sign up for, qualify and receive Medicaid incentive payments.

"With millions of dollars of federal Meaningful Use incentive payments at stake, we are really excited to hear that CORHIO has been selected help get the state 'live' with the program as soon as possible," said Tom Base, business development director at the Mental Health Center in Denver. "Not only will these incentives be extremely helpful during these tight budgetary times, but they will be used to acquire and implement new technologies that will increase efficiencies, improve standards of care and hopefully help to stimulate the local economy."

CORHIO has been a strong advocate for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and has been providing technical assistance, policy and budget advocacy, and consulting to HCPF to ensure implementation and availability of incentives for Colorado Medicaid providers.

Significant Funding is Available for Qualified Health Care Professionals and Hospitals

Each eligible Colorado health care professional can earn up to $63,750 in incentive payments to adopt and meaningfully use an EHR. Eligible professionals must provide at least 30% of their services to Medicaid patients to qualify (for pediatricians, the requirement is only 20%).  Hospitals can also be eligible for incentive payments that, depending on the level of services provided to Medicaid patients, can amount to millions of dollars.

CORHIO assisted HCPF in developing the State Medicaid HIT Plan, which is required by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) before the state can implement its Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, open registration, and start making payments to Colorado providers.

HCPF anticipates approval of the Plan by the end of September, but timelines are contingent upon a prompt review by CMS.

"CORHIO will continue to advocate for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and ensure it remains a priority for the state, because we recognize the importance of this program for Colorado providers, as well as its role in achieving CORHIO's long term goals," said Liza Fox-Wylie, CORHIO policy director.

To find out if you or your health care organization qualifies for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, click here to visit the CMS website with eligibility information.