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Provider Registration Opens for Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

Monday, July 8, 2013

Provider Registration Opens for Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

Electronic health records are a valuable tool to facilitate improved patient care and lower costs.
The District of Columbia Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) is pleased to announce that, as of July 1, 2013, the provider registration for the Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program (MEIP) is open. The EHR Incentive Program is a federally-funded incentive program to promote the meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHRs) to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care and to reward and support eligible health care professionals and hospitals as they transition into new technology within our nation's health care system. DHCF estimates that the incentive payments to providers could reach over $300 million over the next 8 years.
 
"The use of health information technology is essential for providers to deliver better and lower cost care here in the District," said DHCF Director Wayne Turnage. “We are thrilled to support providers as they invest in health information technology which in turn will strengthen the District’s Medicaid program.”
 
Funding and support for the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs is provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The District’s Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is administered by DHCF; CMS will administer the Medicare Incentive Program.
 
EHR Program Eligibility, Payments and Registration
The District’s Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is open to eligible Medicaid professionals (physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and dentists) and eligible hospitals (acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals and children’s hospitals). To receive the incentive payments, eligible professionals and hospitals must meet specific Medicaid patient volume thresholds as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology during their first year of participation. In subsequent years, participating eligible providers are required to demonstrate meaningful use of the technology defined as how the certified EHR technology moves beyond being a digital medical chart into being a valuable tool to transform health care service delivery and therefore improve health outcomes.
 
Through annual incentive payments, eligible Medicaid professionals may receive a maximum of $63,750 during their six years of program participation. The incentive payment formula for eligible Medicaid hospitals is based on multiple variables and will be paid over three years of program participation.
 
Providers who wish to receive a MEIP payment through the District must first register at CMS’ website at Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and select “District of Columbia” as their state of attestation. CMS activated registration for the District on July 1, 2013. Registration at the District level was also activated July 1, 2013 and is the next required step. The District’s registration site, known as the District of Columbia State Level Registry, is available at dc.arraincentive.com. Eligible providers whose attestation is accepted and approved and would like incentive payments issued in their name will be issued payments as early as September. Eligible providers who attest and would like incentive payments to be assigned to another entity will receive incentive payments later in the program year. Providers may contact DCSLR@dc.gov with questions.
 
EHR Technical Program Assistance
ONC has established more than sixty (60) assistance centers throughout the United States to ensure clinicians become adept and meaningful users of EHRs. The District of Columbia Primary Care Association’s (DCPCA) eHealthDC program serves as the District of Columbia Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center. "The goal of eHealthDC is to ensure that all eligible Meaningful Users are prepared to attest for their Medicaid Incentive funds as soon as DC’s program is available” said Donna Ramos-Johnson, DCPCA’s Chief of Technology Operations. Of the 1,077 primary care providers registered with eHealthDC, 396 have already met the requirements for Stage 1 Meaningful Use, with more reaching this milestone every month. More information about eHealthDC can be found at: eHealthDC.
 

About the Department of Health Care Finance 
The Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) is a cabinet-level agency of the District of Columbia Government responsible for the administration of the Medicaid, CHIP, Immigrant Children’s, and the Health Care Alliance programs. DHCF is also responsible for implementing provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).