For physicians and other eligible professionals, payments for the second year of the Medicaid electronic health-record incentive program—this time for meaningful use of an EHR—have begun to flow, according to the CMS.
La. reaches meaningful-use milestone
Louisiana is the first state in the country to issue an incentive payment to an eligible professional that has achieved meaningful use under the Medicaid program, according to an e-mailed CMS statement.
Under the first year of the Medicaid incentive program, which ended with the 2011 calendar year, eligible professionals needed only attest that they had adopted, implemented or upgraded to a certified EHR. But to continue to receive payments in the second year, they had to attest to achieving the same meaningful-use standards that first-year providers under the Medicare portion of the program are required to meet—90 consecutive days of meaningful use in calendar year 2012.
The Winn Community Health Center, a federally qualified rural health center staffed by a physician, a nurse practitioner and a physician's assistant, was the first meaningful user to be paid under the Louisiana Medicaid program, according the CMS statement. Second-year payments under Medicaid are $8,500 per eligible provider, except for certain pediatricians, based on their Medicaid patient mix, who may receive two-thirds of that amount.
Through March, 73,806 eligible professionals have enrolled in Medicaid incentive programs across the country, with 29,931 of them having received $628 million in payments, according to the latest CMS data (PDF).
Thus far, 43 states have Medicaid EHR programs up and running, with 42 making incentive payments.
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