This July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that more than 300,000 providers have received payment for successfully participating in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. We also recently released new data demonstrating how doctors and other health care providers have been able to use EHRs to increase efficiency in their practices while safeguarding privacy and improving care for millions of patients nationwide.
Our hope is to support all eligible providers with resources to help them join the hundreds of thousands who have successfully participated in the EHR Incentive Programs. This includes providers – such as pediatricians – who must select specific meaningful use measures and exemptions in order to participate.
Meaningful Use for Pediatricians
Pediatricians are among the providers who are eligible to participate in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. This means adopting EHRs and meeting the meaningful use criteria to earn incentive payments. We recognize that not every meaningful use measure applies to every provider. Over the past three years, CMS has worked with ONC to develop electronic clinical quality measures that address areas relevant to infants, children, and adolescents enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. Pediatricians can select meaningful use measures that meet their individual practices’ needs and choose exemptions for measures that are not applicable. It is estimated that between 65% and 70% of pediatricians may be eligible to participate in the Medicaid EHR program and earn an incentive.
Pediatricians who see between 20% and 30% Medicaid patients based on their total number of patient encounters are eligible to receive up to $42,500 over 6 years through the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
EHR Systems for Pediatricians
Recognizing that pediatricians may encounter challenges finding certified EHR systems that meet their needs, CMS is working with stakeholder groups and other government agencies to ensure systems have the functionality for pediatric use.
Last February, CMS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a children’s EHR format that defines functionality standards and data requirements essential to pediatric care. These efforts involved coordination with stakeholders, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. CMS believes this format will better enable EHR developers to increase the range of products and design systems tailored to meet children’s health care needs.
Once adopted and integrated, pediatricians can use these certified EHR systems to become successful participants in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and provide their patients with improved outcomes through greater access to high quality care.
Resources for Pediatricians
In order to help pediatricians successfully navigate the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, CMS has developed the Meaningful Use for Specialists Tipsheet. We encourage all eligible providers, regardless of practice specialty, to take advantage of this resource.