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TECHNOLOGY

Is your practice eligible for Medicaid incentive payments?

Certain professionals can alternatively pursue meaningful use incentive payments from the Medicaid program, which is run by the state Medicaid agencies.

Eligible professionals for Medicaid include doctors of medicine and osteopathy, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, dentists, and physician assistants in a federally qualified health center or rural health clinic led by a physician assistant. Some states allow optometrists to participate.

The professional must have 30% Medicaid patient volume (20% Medicaid volume for a pediatrician) or predominantly practice in federally qualified health center or rural health clinic and have a minimum of 30% patient volume of needy individuals.

“If you elect to participate in the Medicaid meaningful use incentive program because of the population you serve, the requirements are a bit easier,” says Paula Stannard, a health care attorney at Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C., and a former HHS deputy general counsel and acting general counsel.

In the Medicaid program, providers can receive an incentive in the first year for adopting and implementing EHR technology or upgrading their existing technology. In the second and following years, meaningful use must be demonstrated.

Failure to demonstrate meaningful use in the Medicaid program does not trigger a payment adjustment, however. The payment adjustments beginning in 2015 only apply for the Medicare program payments.

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