Meaningful Use

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide a financial incentive for the "meaningful use" of certified electronic health records (EHR) technology to achieve health and efficiency goals. By putting into action and meaningfully using an EHR system, providers will reap benefits beyond financial incentives - such as reduction in errors, availability of records and data, reminders and alerts and clinical decision support.
The EHR Incentive Program was created as a result of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, allowing eligible health care professionals to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments of up to $63,750.
Requirements for meaningful use incentive payments will be implemented over a multi-year period, phasing in additional requirements that will raise the bar for performance on IT and quality objectives in later years.
The final CMS rule specifies initial criteria that eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals, including critical access hospitals (CAHs), must meet.  The rule also includes the formula for the calculation of the incentive payment amounts; a schedule for payment adjustments under Medicare for covered professional services and inpatient hospital services provided by EPs, eligible hospitals and CAHs that fail to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology by 2015; and other program participation requirements.