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Meaningful Use knowledge hub

Explore details of the Meaningful Use program, and get the information you need to achieve Meaningful Use at your organization.

Meaningful use criteria and eligibility

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has established separate EHR incentive programs for Medicare and Medicaid; although participants in both programs must meet similar Meaningful Use criteria, each program varies in its incentive payment schedule and first-year program requirements.

Eligible health care professionals must choose the program in which they want to participate (although most hospitals are able to receive payments from both programs.)

Although the two programs contain many common elements and share common goals, there are some important differences between them.

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program 

The Medicare Meaningful Use Program consists of three stages, each with its own set of Meaningful Use criteria and requirements that eligible professionals must meet to receive incentive payments. Those demonstrating meaningful use of certified EHR technology can receive incentive payments up to $44,000 over a five-year period. An additional incentive is available for those who provide services in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

The Medicaid Meaningful Use Program requires participants to first establish the use of an EHR, and then maintain that use over a series of years. In the first year of program participation, eligible providers can adopt, implement, upgrade to, or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Then, in all subsequent years of participation, providers must meet Meaningful Use criteria across a number of objectives. Eligible health care professionals can receive up to $63,750 in Medicaid incentive payments over the six years they participate in the program.

While the Medicare Program for Meaningful Use is managed by the CMS, the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is run by each individual state.

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