The EHR incentive program is comprised of many elements. When making the decision to participate, you should consider the following questions:

  • When does the program begin and end?
  • What are the program options? That is, which of the branches of the federal EHR incentive program would be appropriate for my practice setting?
  • What are the eligibility requirements for each program?
  • Does my EHR meet the relevant EHR standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria? Beginning in 2014, regardless of which Stage of the program you are in, this means verifying that your EHR is certified based on the 2014 Edition of the standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria rule.
  • How much of the potential incentive payment could I receive?
  • How long are the program’s reporting requirements?
  • How is a “meaningful user” defined? That is, what do I need to measure and report on to be successful?
  • How will I report my data demonstrating meaningful use of an EHR to CMS?
  • Will the results be publicly reported?
  • What interactions, if any, are there with the other branches of the federal EHR incentive program?
  • What are the documentation retention requirements?
  • What are the penalties if I do not participate?
  • Are there any outside vendors with whom I have to work to meet the Program requirements?
  • What other resources does the ACC have for cardiovascular practices?

The ACC also recommends you take the following steps as you prepare:

  • Review the requirements for eligibility and attempt to register for the participation to determine your hospital-based status, so you know if you need to apply for a special designation as non-hospital based because you purchased and maintain your EHR without assistance from the hospital, despite your high volume of services provided in the inpatient or emergency setting.
  • Ensure that your EHR is certified to the appropriate Edition of the EHR standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria regulation.
  • Even as you begin to prepare for implementation using the current Edition of the EHR standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria, consult with your EHR vendor to determine how it will be assist you in upgrading your EHR when the next Edition is released, or in the case of the 2014 Edition, implemented.
  • Educate your colleagues and staff about the requirements and necessary changes to workflow.
  • Review the clinical quality measure (CQM) requirements and select the appropriate CQMs for reporting.
  • Review the Menu Set and select five out of the 10 for reporting as appropriate to you and your practice.
  • Learn how to obtain the data needed to attest to successful participation for CMS reporting purposes.
  • Contact ACC with questions on the federal EHR Incentive Program as needed.

Next: Eligibility for Medicare's EHR Incentive Program for Eligible Professionals >>>