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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.

Medicare Meaningful Use criteria

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program began in 2011, with payments continuing through 2016 to all eligible providers who meet Medicare Meaningful Use criteria. Depending on the first year of participation, providers can take part in the program for up to five continuous years throughout the duration of the program. To avoid the penalty for not meeting Meaningful Use, all eligible providers must attest to the first year of Stage 1 by October 1, 2014.

The following care givers are considered "eligible professionals" (EPs) under the Medicare Meaningful Use Incentive Program:

  • Doctors of Medicine or Osteopathy
  • Doctors of Dental Surgery or Dental Medicine
  • Doctors of Podiatric Medicine
  • Doctors of Optometry
  • Chiropractors
Each EP within a practice may qualify for a payment if he or she successfully meets the Medicare Meaningful Use criteria using a certified EHR. Each provider is limited to one incentive payment per year, regardless of the number of practices or locations in which they provide services.

Hospital-based providers are not eligible for incentive payments. An EP is considered hospital-based if 90% or more of his or her services are performed in a hospital inpatient or emergency department setting.

Eligibility requirements for hospitals

The following hospitals are eligible to participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program:

  • "Subsection (d) hospitals" paid under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS)
  • Critical access hospitals (CAHs)
  • Medicare Advantage (MA-affiliated) hospitals

Hospitals can begin receiving EHR incentive payments in any federal fiscal year (FY) from FY 2011 to FY 2015. Payments will decrease for hospitals that meet Medicare Meaningful Use criteria and start receiving payments in 2014 and later.

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