All eligible professionals (EPs) have an opportunity to receive up to $44,000 in incentive payments through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program if they begin meaningful use by October 3, 2012. If meaningful use begins by the end of 2013 the maximum incentive opportunity drops to $39,000 and by end of 2014 drops to $24,000. Starting in 2015 the incentive opportunity goes away and ultimately turns into penalties.
Meaningful Use Program Penalties
Under the Medicare version of the program, payment adjustments go into effect beginning in 2015 if an EP does not successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The non-trivial penalties could reach 5 percent by the end of this decade if the majority of EPs are not demonstrating meaningful use. For EPs, including radiologists, this comes in the form of an adjustment to the physician fee schedule amount for covered professional services.
Meaningful Use Incentive Payments
Upon successfully demonstrating meaningful use and attesting, EPs, including eligible radiologists, participating in the Medicare version of the incentive program will receive a single lump sum payment for each year that they continue to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology for a total incentive payment of up to $44,000 over five consecutive years. If an EP provides service in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), an additional payment bonus of 10 percent will be paid separately on an annual basis.
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