Eligible Professionals

EMR Meaningful Use

Under PQRI, covered professional services are those paid under or based on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). To the extent that eligible professionals are providing services which get paid under or based on the PFS, those services are eligible for PQRI.

Eligible and Able to Participate
1. Medicare physicians
• Doctor of Medicine
• Doctor of Osteopathy
• Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
• Doctor of Optometry
• Doctor of Oral Surgery
• Doctor of Dental Medicine
• Doctor of Chiropractic
2. Practitioners
• Physician Assistant
• Nurse Practitioner
• Clinical Nurse Specialist
• Certified Registered Nurse    Anesthetist
   (and Anesthesiologist Assistant)
• Certified Nurse Midwife
• Clinical Social Worker
• Clinical Psychologist
• Registered Dietician
• Nutrition Professional
• Audiologists (as of 1/1/2009)
3. Therapists
• Physical Therapist
• Occupational Therapist
• Qualified Speech-Language
   Therapist (as of 7/1/2009)
How do I qualify for Meaningful Use incentives?

In order to receive the incentives, your practice must first meet eligibility requirements (see below "Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs) and then meet the standards of Meaningful Use Stage One. There are 15 required core objectives and a choice of 5 out of 10 a la carte menu set objectives (see side menu "Meaningful Use Criteria.”)

What does Meaningful Use mean for my practice?

More or less, it means you now have a financial incentive to adopt an EMR. But we don’t recommend purchasing an EMR simply to gain Meaningful Use incentives. While the incentive money is terrific, we strongly recommend that practices get an EMR to streamline office efficiency and improve patient safety, and only when practices are ready. EMRs are not particularly complicated, but any new technology takes time to get acclimated by doctors and staffs.

What exactly am I eligible for?

If you demonstrate Medicare Meaningful Use in 2012, you will receive the first payment of $18,000 for that year and subsequent payments of $12,000, $8,000, $4,000, and $2,000 for the next four years. However, if your practice waits until 2013 to implement an EMR, you'll only receive $39,000 over the next four years, and even less if you wait until 2014. Beginning in 2015, practices who don't have an EMR will get hit with a 1% reduction of Medicare payments, and these penalties are set to increase to 7% by 2017.

If you're eligible for the Medicaid incentives (doctors can only apply for one or the other), the payments are even higher: $21,250 for the first year and $8,500 a year for the next four years. Unlike Medicare, there's no penalty for not having an EMR in the Medicaid arena.