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MU Payments: Not Too Late for Medicaid

Looking for $63,750 in bonus payments? That’s the sum total of the checks you’ll receive over a six-year period if you are eligible to participate in the Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Program. The days of receiving payment boosts for “meaningful use” through Medicare are long gone, but the Medicaid program is still open for business – even for beginners. The program, which is available to Physicians, Dentists, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives, and select Physician Assistants,^ requires a minimum 30% Medicaid patient volume, or 20% for Pediatricians.

The final year to start the program was 2016, but most states have only just opened their attestation systems for reporting last year’s data. If you fit the criteria, you don’t even need an EHR. To receive the first bonus check, an eligible provider need only to be in the process of “adopting, implementing or upgrading” (AIU) to an EHR. AIU is defined as adopting (acquiring and installing), implementing (training), or upgrading (expanding functionality with new version, etc.). 

Before you commence your state application, you first have to register with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the National Level Registry (NLR) CMS Web Site. With the initial year payment of $21,250 – per provider – it may be worth your time and energy to explore your options regarding participation particularly when the first-year requirements are minimal.

You don’t have time to spare, however. Most states are closing at the end of February or March, and remember that this is your last chance to jump aboard. If you are successful, you’ll receive your first year bonus check in eight weeks, with another five payments of $8,500 available through the conclusion of the program in 2022.

Deadlines vary by state; read more about the program requirements at these links: 

Tennessee - March 31, 2017

Arkansas - March 31, 2017

Georgia - March 31, 2017

Mississippi - April 30, 2017

Kentucky - February 28, 2017 (registration); March 31, 2017 (attestation)

^Physician assistants who furnish services in a Federally Qualified Health Center or Rural Health Clinic that is led by a physician assistant.

About The Author

Elizabeth Woodcock is the founder and principal of Woodcock & Associates. She has focused on medical practice operations and revenue cycle management for more than 25 years. She has led educational sessions for a multitude of national professional associations and specialty societies, and consulted for clients as diverse as a solo orthopaedic surgeon in rural Georgia to the Mayo Clinic. She is author or co-author of 17 best-selling practice management books, to include Mastering Patient Flow and The Physician Billing Process: Avoiding Potholes in the Road to Getting Paid. Elizabeth is a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives and a Certified Professional Coder. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University, she completed a Master of Business Administration in healthcare management from The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently a doctoral student at the Bloomberg School of Public Health of Johns Hopkins University.

The contents of The Sentinel are intended for educational/informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Policyholders are urged to consult with their personal attorney for legal advice, as specific legal requirements may vary from state to state and/or change over time.

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