CMS Finalizes Requirements for the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program

CMS today announced a final rule to implement the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) that provide incentive payments to providers for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The Medicare EHR incentive program will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) that are meaningful users of certified EHRs.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will be issuing a closely related final rule that completes the Secretary’s adoption of an initial set of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHRs. ONC also issued a final rule establishing a temporary certification program for health IT on June 24, 2010 and anticipates issuing a final rule for establishing a permanent certification program later this year. Providers must meaningfully use such certified EHR technology to qualify as meaningful users in these incentive programs.

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