February 9th, 2012
The Rural Assistance Center and the National Rural Health Resource Center have developed a Health IT Toolkit for Rural Providers. The toolkit is designed to help rural providers find resources for HIT, electronic health records (EHR), meaningful use and related topics. The resources in the toolkit provide guidance in the planning, setup, implementation and operation of an HIT infrastructure. Additional information also shows where to find training programs, funding support and management expertise. Resources are broken down by category, and can be sorted for more specific results.
January 25th, 2012
January 3rd was the one year anniversary of the start of registration for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. Over the past year, there has been a tremendous amount of interest in the incentive programs as providers across the country have implemented EHRS.
Year one highlights include:
*43 states have started their Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs *Over 176,000 people have registered for the Medicare and/or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs
*Over $2.5 billion has been paid in incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) across the country
CMS has created useful resources to participants in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. A few new resources include:
*An Introduction to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for Eligible Professionals- this interactive guide walks EPs through every aspect of the Medicare program, and provides helpful resources and tips along the way.
*Updated User Guides- CMS has updated the registration and attestation user guides, which direct EPs and eligible hospitals through CMS’ registration and attestation system. There are five guides that all can be downloaded from the Educational Materials page of the CMS website.
*Provider Testimonial Videos- these videos, which can be found on the CMS YouTube channel, highlight providers’ experiences participating in the EHR Incentive Programs.
A Look Ahead
As we move into 2012 and the second participation year of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, CMS is hopeful that providers will begin or continue their participation in the programs, and take advantage of these incentives for meaningful use of EHRs.
If you are considering registering for the programs, but have not done so yet, take a look at the CMS EHR website and use our eligibility tool to find out if you can participate.
Remember: 2012 is the last year in which EPs can receive a full incentive payment in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. Beginning in 2013, EPs will receive a smaller overall total payment.
Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs?
Make sure to visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.
December 13th, 2011
Please follow the link below to begin the registration process for Wyoming Medicaid EHR Incentive Payment Program
October 27th, 2011
Wyoming is participating in the State Cooperative Agreement Program for Health Information Exchange authorized under the Health Information Exchange for Clinical and Economic Health (“HITECH”) Act passed in February, 2009.
In order to participate, Wyoming submitted a HIE Strategic Plan and a HIE Operating Plan in accordance with guidelines from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Exchange (“ONC”), the federal office administering the Cooperative Agreement Program. Wyoming’s Strategic and Operating Plans were created by members of the e-Health Partnership.
Wyoming’s activities described in the Strategic and Operation Plans will be carried out by the Wyoming e-Health Partnership, Inc.
Follow the link below to review these plans:
August 26th, 2011
South Lincoln Medical Center in Kemmerer reached an important milestone recently for using electronic health record (EHR) technology under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
SLMC is the first hospital in Wyoming and one of the first Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) in the nation to complete a 90-day period of demonstrating EHR “meaningful use” as defined by the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS). A CAH is a rural hospital located at least 35 miles from any other hospital with no more than 25 inpatient beds. SLMC, a 16-bed facility, has been serving the area since 1961.
Having reached this milestone, SLMC qualifies for a federal incentive payment from Medicare. The Medicare EHR Incentive Program is a CMS effort designed to encourage the adoption and use of electronic health records. The Wyoming Department of Health is developing a Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, which is also likely to provide incentive payments to the Kemmerer hospital later this year.
Wyoming Department of Health Director Tom Forslund said, “South Lincoln Medical Center’s achievement is a welcome demonstration that electronic health record initiatives can be successful in Wyoming.”
Forslund’s department includes Medicaid, which has been developing an information technology initiative known as the “Total Health Record.” As one step toward reaching the “meaningful use” milestone, SLMC transmitted an electronic record from SLMC’s EHR system to the department’s Total Health Record system. “We see a critical role for the Total Health Record in improving efficiency and quality of care for Medicaid clients,” Forslund said.
SLMC employees were involved with the selection and installation of the appropriate software and training to meet “meaningful use” guidelines. “Our focus has been to improve the quality of patient care and patient safety in addition to improving the exchange of information among healthcare providers and patients through our EHR,” said Eric Boley, SLMC chief executive officer.
SLMC received support and technical assistance from Health Technology Services, which has been designated by the federal government as the Regional Extension Center (REC) for Wyoming. The REC works under a federal cooperative agreement to allow smaller facilities to affordably achieve their health information technology goals.
The Medicare EHR Incentive Program was authorized under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
July 22nd, 2011
Taken from iHealthBeat – a service of the California HealthCare Foundation
In April, CMS launched the attestation period for the Medicare portion of the meaningful use program. Meanwhile, 14 of the 21 states that have launched their Medicaid incentive programs have started distributing payments.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments.
In an iHealthBeat Special Audio Report by Kelly Wilkinson, vendors and health care providers weighed in on the process for qualifying for incentives under Stage 1 of the meaningful use program.
The Special Report includes comments from:
The complete transcript of this report is available as a PDF.