As of April 1, 2013 due to the federal sequester, all Medicare EHR incentive payments will be reduced by 2%. Providers, who bill under Medicare Part B or the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), who do not achieve Meaningful Use may receive Medicare penalty adjustment starting at 1% in 2015. The penalty may increase every year that you are not demonstrating Meaningful Use. Hospital-based physicians are not subject to possible payment reductions.
The Meaningful Use program allows for generous rewards from CMS - up to $63,750 from Medicaid or $44,000 from Medicare.
However, Meaningful Use incentive payments are time-sensitive, and you must adopt an EHR within a specified window to qualify
for the rewards. Medicare in particular requires rapid action since the maximum reward amounts diminish over time.
Keep in mind that adopting and learning to use an EHR takes months, so do not put off making this important decision to transform your practice.
Medicare offers incentive payments up to $44,000 over five years. Your total amount is calculated based on 75% of your allowed Medicare charges in a given year. The maximum amounts you
can receive in a given year are listed in this chart.
Providers can qualify for the first payment of $21,250 by adopting, implementing, upgrading or demonstrating meaningful use of certified EHR technology in first participation year. Required to demonstrate meaningful use in each subsequent year to qualify for payment
Important! All Medicare providers will have a payment reduction in 2015 if they are not demonstrating meaningful use. For example, if you are a physician and accept both Medicare and Medicaid, you must be demonstrating meaningful use by 2015 (in either the Medicare or the Medicaid EHR incentive program) or you will have a Medicare fee-schedule reduction for all your Medicare claims. The payment reduction for Medicare Fee-for-Service physicians starts at 1% and increases up to 5% for every year that you are not demonstrating meaningful use. Hospital-based physicians are not subject to possible payment reductions.