e-Prescribing Medicare Penalties in 2012

One of my readers pointed me to an article talking about the potential Medicare penalties that will be enforced starting in 2012 to physicians who don’t use e-Prescribing. Here’s the relevant info:

As previously reported, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) authorizes incentive payments for eligible professionals who are successful e-prescribers. Under the MIPPA, the incentive payments are set at 2 percent for 2009 and 2010, 1 percent for 2011 and 2012, and 0.5 percent for 2013.

However, the MIPPA provides for a penalty to arise in 2012 for not successfully satisfying e-prescribing requirements. The penalty will be a percentage reduction in Medicare physician fee schedule payments equal to 1 percent for 2012, 1.5 percent for 2013, and 2 percent for 2014 and subsequent years.

It’s interesting to see these penalties. They’re almost as large as the penalties for not showing meaningful use of a certified EHR. Yet, I see so little discussion about these penalties. Is there a reason doctors aren’t worried as much about this as the EMR Stimulus Medicare penalties?

Also, it’s no wonder that many doctors are wondering whether they should continue to accept Medicare or not. First, the 21% Medicare cuts that have been floating out there. Second, the EMR stimulus medicare cuts. Now, the cuts for those that aren’t ePrescribing. Of course, all of these cuts are to the “insurance” that has in general the smallest reimbursement already. Are the insurance companies next to implement these cuts?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • John, one more thing to remember is that this penalty DOES NOT expire when the MU penalties kick in after 2015. Unless the MIPPA changes, providers will get double penalties starting 2016. That means by 2018, you can be looking at 5% or more!

  • who made all these rules and why are we just lying down and taking it? the arbitrary requirement for “10 escribes ” by june 30th or “penelty” when our emr ( we have had emr for >>10 yrs) will not escribe due to delay in “retro-fitting ” our emr instead of spending yet another fortune for a new “government approved ” version. the requirement to print out visit note to be available w/i 3 days rule .. rediculous. pts dont want it , not going to pick it up, costly and opens door for pts info to be floating out in parking lots, garbage cans etc .. i could go on for days. i spend more time loading info in emr ( much more w “meaningless use” than i do taking care of the patient .why are we not organizing to stand up and fight this power grab !!!!

  • Hi Kay,
    I’ll have to give your comment a little more prominence in a post and see if there are others that agree with you. I’m happy to give voice to a lot of different perspectives.

Click here to post a comment