Achieving Meaningful Use

Helping providers achieve EHR meaningful use to enhance care.


Getting started

First, remember that all organizations seeking electronic health record (EHR) adoption incentives must register with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for either the Medicare or Medicaid pathway. Following is a summary of CMS requirements, along with resources to help you achieve meaningful use.

Qualifying for meaningful use
through the Medicare pathway

The Medicare EHR Incentive Program will provide payments to eligible professionals (EPs) who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The following providers are eligible to participate in the Medicare program: doctor of medicine or osteopathy, a doctor of dental surgery or dental medicine, a doctor of podiatric medicine, a doctor of optometry, or a chiropractor.

Eligible professionals participating in this program can receive a maximum incentive payment of $44,000 over a five-year period. An additional 10% incentive is available for EPs who provide services in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

Medicare eligible professionals that do not successfully demonstrate meaningful use by 2015 will have a payment adjustment in their Medicare reimbursement.

Medicare Payments and Corresponding Stage Required

Due to sequestration, incentive funds issued after April 1, 2013 are subject to a 2% reduction, which ranges between $240 and $360.

Qualifying for meaningful use
through the Medicaid pathway

The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program will provide payments to eligible professionals who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The following providers are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program: physicians, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, dentists, and physician assistants who practice in a federally qualified health center (FQHC) or rural health clinic (RHC) led by a physician assistant.

EPs participating can receive a maximum incentive payment of $63,750 over a six-year period, choosing a commencement date prior to the end of 2016. There is an exception to this rule and that applies to pediatricians. If a pediatrician has a Medicaid patient volume of at least 20%, they will qualify for two-thirds of the stimulus dollars, totaling $42,500. However, if that pediatrician is able to show a 30% Medicaid patient volume, he or she will qualify for the full $63,750. Final payments through the Medicaid program will be distributed in 2021 (see graph below).

Each state is responsible for managing its Medicaid meaningful use program. Check with your state’s health department or the CMS website for more details and links to individual programs.

Medicaid Payments Stages