Meaningful Use Mondays – Registering for EHR Incentive Money

Registration for participation in the EHR incentives program begins today. It is done online (no paper registration, appropriately enough!) by using the registration link that should now appear on the CMS Registration and Attestation page. That page details all the information needed, so I will just remind providers who plan to participate under the Medicare program that they will have to be enrolled in PECOS, (Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System)—although not necessarily before they register.

While it is a good idea to begin familiarizing yourself with the registration process and requirements, there is no need to feel rushed. Registration does not have to be done immediately—it can even be done at the same time as attestation—and the earliest date that providers can attest to demonstrating meaningful use is April 1, 2011. Providers have until as late as October 1, 2012 to begin reporting on meaningful use and still earn the maximum reimbursement under Medicare—although it is clearly not advisable to wait until the last minute to start—and they can begin even later under the Medicaid provisions. (To be discussed in future posts.) The important determination eligible providers have to make upon registration is whether they will participate under Medicare or Medicaid, because once they receive their first incentive payment, they will only be able to switch programs one time. The next two Meaningful Use Monday posts will provide information to help providers make this decision.

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EMR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

About the author

Lynn Scheps

Lynn Scheps

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

7 Comments

  • Thanks Mark. I’m sure you’ll like Meaningful Use Mondays as well.

    I appreciate the link to the permanent EHR certification program. I hadn’t seen that announced yet.

  • Although the Providers can chose to register as late as 2012 and still get all their monies from Medicare Incentives, its advisable to do it in 2011. The reporting and approval process for meaningful use is supposed to be easier for 2011 and 2012 (from my discussions with RECs).
    One of the issues ‘Providers’ need to be aware of is the currently delay in interfacing with some of the national labs; its taking longer than 3 months to get dates for interface. Since its one of the menu items, its advisable (as mentioned in the post) not to wait till September, 2011.

  • Anthony,
    I thought the same thing about the benefit of applying in 2011 instead of 2012. Then, Lynn (who wrote this post) actually corrected me on it and so as a correction I wrote this post: https://www.healthcareittoday.com/2010/12/03/years-for-meaningful-use-stage-1-correction/ Funny aside is that correction is what prompted Meaningful Use Mondays with Lynn.

    So, I might have been the one that initially spread that misinformation. Turns out that Meaningful Use will be just as easy if you adopt in 2011 or 2012.

    Interesting to hear about the Lab interface delay. I’ll have to write a post about it and see if others are seeing the same thing. Is this for EMR vendors who’ve never interfaced with those national labs or even for EMR vendors who’ve interfaced with the national labs who are just adding new providers?

  • Speaking of us, we are certified by and for all the national labs with many practices already connected. When we do the interface, although its a cookie cutter process, still there is some work in terms of security clearance, integrity check, bi-directional data flow check and project management for that 4 hour job. And that’s backed up; by the time we get the approval its couple of months and by the time we actually get the date, its another few months at a minimum.

  • If I am registering on behalf of eligible providers, do you know if they will receive an email notification to accept me or do I have to tell each of them to go in individually to accept me? Thanks!

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