National Initiatives for HIT


There is a great deal of activity on the national level to promote electronic health records (EHR) adoption, interoperability, and standardization. Clinicians who see Medicare or Medicaid patients and want to find out more about the CMS incentive programs will find links here. For those who want to learn more about Meaningful Use (MU) or to find out where they can confirm that the EHR they have chosen is 2014 ONC certified will also find links here. A separate quality improvement program that provides a separate incentive program can be found under the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS).

Visit APA's home for Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Payment Programs

Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs
In 2011, CMS initiated an incentive program for clinicians and facilities who bill Medicare or Medicaid for patient services. Eligible Practitioners may participate in this program until 2016 as long as they initiated (attested) to the incentive program change by 2014. Starting January 1, 2015, Medicare reimbursement rates are being reduced for physicians who have not yet begun participating in the Meaningful Use program. Access the official CMS EHR incentive page here.

Additional Resources:

Meaningful Use
The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide financial incentives for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology to improve patient care. To receive an EHR incentive payment, providers have to show that they are meaningfully using their EHRs by meeting thresholds for a number of objectives. The EHR Incentive Programs are phased in over three stages with increasing requirements. Eligible professionals participate in the program on the calendar year, while eligible hospitals and CAHs participate according to the federal fiscal year. Providers must attest to demonstrating meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a Medicare payment adjustment.
View a collection of resources from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including a step-by-step guide to EHR implementation.

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
ONC ensures that EHR technologies meet the standards and certification criteria adopted by HHS to allow providers and hospitals to achieve meaningful use and participate in the CMS EHR Incentive Programs. ONC’s authoritative, comprehensive listing of EHRs and EHR modules can be found here. Be sure to check this list to confirm that your EHR is certified.

Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)
This is another CMS quality improvement program that offers incentives to Medicare providers who report on quality performance measures. Participation involves the reporting of designated administrative codes for billing claims.

Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN)
The NwHIN is a set of standards, services, and policies that enable the secure exchange of health information over the Internet. The goal is to provide a secure, national interoperable health information infrastructure that will connect providers, consumers, and others involved in supporting health and health care. This critical part of the national health IT agenda will enable health information to follow the consumer, be available for clinical decision making, and support appropriate use of health-care information beyond direct patient care.