Update on the CMS Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

Posted on April 11, 2011 by Thomas S. Keefe, MA, FHIMSS

These are exciting and challenging times for the state Medicaid programs.

One of the most thrilling events has been the introduction of a program that will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. States may voluntarily offer the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program to their Medicaid eligible professionals and eligible hospitals and many have started to do so.

Since Jan. 3, states have been registering and receiving certification to qualify for EHR incentive payments under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

  • The states that have registered include Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
  • XOf those eleven states, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, North Carolina and South Carolina have already started to disburse payments under the program.

On Feb. 21, during HIMSS11 in Orlando Fla., I attended an education session on “The Status of the State Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.” Jessica Kahn moderated the session; she is a Technical Director for Health IT, at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Participating on the panel were:

  • John Calabro, Health Information Technology Coordinator for Oklahoma, and
  • Sandeep Kapoor, Medicaid Health IT Lead from the Department for Medicaid Services in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Kahn shared with the audience that CMS regarded the launch of these states’ EHR incentive programs, with simultaneous registration and payment in early January, as a tremendous success. During their presentations, both Calabro and Kapoor agreed with her assessment.