ARRA $39,000 EHR Stimulus 101
The short version
American Recovery & Reinvestment (ARRA) HITECH Act is intended to ensure that patient data can be securely exchanged between health information professional and networks. It mandates the adoption of EHR systems, encouraging early adoption with incentives and punishing late adoption with penalties. Nearly 20 billion dollars have been allocated as incentives to doctors’ demonstrating “meaningful use” of certified technology solutions.
ARRA and Chiropractic
Chiropractors are eligible to receive incentive payments (up to $39,000) per provider on Medicare Part B claims. Chiropractic specific EHR systems like ACOM Health’s RAPID have already begun receiving certification that they meet program requirements for funding under the HITECH Act.
Answers to Chiropractors Top Questions about the $39k ARRA Stimulus
What will happen to the EHR stimulus program if the government repeals all or parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) often referred to as “President Obama’s Healthcare Overhaul”?
Nothing! For three key reasons:
- The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, from which the EHR stimulus program and its funding originates, is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, and it is an entirely different statute than PPACA.
- The EHR stimulus program’s incentives payments are secure because they are drawn from the Medicare Trust Funds held by the U.S. Treasury, and are therefore not subject to annual Congressional budget appropriations or oversight. The incentive payments are procured through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
- Bipartisan support for the tenets and the spirit of HITECH dates back at least seven years, and it is also noteworthy that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which administers the EHR stimulus program, was created by the Bush administration and a Republican Congress.
- You will receive the RAPID software version that has been certified by a government accredited testing agency.
- You will receive the RAPID software Unique Identifier Number corresponding to your certified RAPID software version. You will include the Unique Identifier Number on the CMS application form for incentive payments.
- The certified RAPID software version will include the appropriate reports required by the government for applications for incentive payments starting in 2012.
The government’s Final Rules for Stimulus dollars released in July 2010 reduced the number of required Meaningful Use criteria to just 20 of the 25 and included exclusions of criteria if they do not apply to the provider’s discipline.
Doctors of Chiropractor are excluded from the ePrescribing Meaningful Use criteria if they write less than 100 prescriptions. Since it is illegal for Chiropractors to prescribe in 47 states it will not be a problem to choose an exclusion for this criteria.
The Meaningful Use criteria are the data points to which the certified EHR software is tested and which a provider uses to show use of the EHR software. Click here for more on Meaningful Use.
As long as you apply in the first two years, it looks good. If every one of the 600,000 eligible providers successfully applied in the first two years of the program for the maximum per provider payout ($18,000 in 2012 and $14,000 in 2013) the $19.2 billion of incentive payments is enough to cover all incentive payments.
- You earn an incentive payment from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) calculated as 75% of your annual Medicare collections in 2012, up to a maximum payment of $18,000.
- You must use a certified EHR for a minimum of 90 days in 2012.
- You complete a CMS form attesting the use of the EHR.