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EHR Incentive Programs

Meaningful Use

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide financial incentives for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology to improve patient care. To receive an EHR incentive payment, providers have to show that they are “meaningfully using” their EHRs by meeting thresholds for a number of objectives. CMS has established the objectives for “meaningful use” that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to receive an incentive payment.

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are staged in three steps with increasing requirements for participation. All providers begin participating by meeting the Stage 1 requirements for a 90-day period in their first year of meaningful use and a full year in their second year of meaningful use. After meeting the Stage 1 requirements, providers will then have to meet Stage 2 requirements for two full years. Eligible professionals participate in the program on the calendar years, while eligible hospitals and CAHs participate according to the federal fiscal year.

EHR Incentive Programs – Eligible Professional’s Guide to Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs

Eligible Professional (EP) Meaningful Use Core and Menu Measures Table of Contents

Stage 2 Timeline

The earliest that the Stage 2 criteria will be effective is in fiscal year 2014 for eligible hospitals and CAHs or calendar year 2014 for EPs. The table below illustrates the progression of meaningful use stages from when a Medicare provider begins participation in the program.

1st Year Stage of Meaningful Use

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2011

1

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

TBD

TBD

TBD

2012

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

TBD

TBD

TBD

2013

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

TBD

TBD

2014

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

TBD

2015

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

2016

1

1

2

2

3

3

2017

1

1

2

2

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note that providers who were early demonstrators of meaningful use in 2011 will meet three consecutive years of meaningful use under the Stage 1 criteria before advancing to the Stage 2 criteria in 2014. All other providers would meet two years of meaningful use under the Stage 1 criteria before advancing to the Stage 2 criteria in their third year.