As a follow-up to last week’s Meaningful Use Monday, the following are a few more clarifications related to the 90-day reporting period for a provider’s first payment year:
- Although the reporting period is tied to the first payment year for a particular provider, the incentives remain attached to the calendar year. The amounts of the incentive payments are specified in ARRA and do not change depending on when a provider chooses to begin demonstrating meaningful use.
- Providers will be eligible for the maximum total of $44,000 (Medicare) over the 5-year period if their first payment year is either 2011 or 2012.
- Any continuous 90-day period within the calendar year is acceptable, e.g., January to March, June to August, or October to December—but November to January would not be acceptable because it spans two different calendar years.
- If a provider demonstrates meaningful use for any 90 days during his/her first year—even if it is as early as January to March—the next reporting period for that provider would be January to December of the following calendar year.
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.