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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, otherwise known as the “Stimulus Plan”, was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009. To preserve and improve affordable healthcare, $60 billion was included in this plan. Of that amount, $19 billion is geared directly toward health information technology initiatives. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act—or the HITECH Act—is a segment of the ARRA. The HITECH Act was implemented to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.

On July 13, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule on the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs under Medicare and Medicaid. According to the Act, beginning in 2011, physicians are eligible to receive up to $44,000 per physician in stimulus incentives from Medicare for the Meaningful Use of a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR), and based on state-defined guidelines—eligible professionals reimbursed by Medicaid can receive up to $63,750.

How to Qualify for Stimulus Incentives
  • Utilize certified EHR Technology in a meaningful way.
  • Utilize electronic prescribing.
  • Utilize a system that exchanges health information electronically, improving the quality of patient care.
  • Submit information regarding clinical quality and other measures.

Who can qualify for stimulus incentives?
  • Doctor of medicine or osteopathy
  • Doctor of dental surgery or medicine
  • Doctor of podiatric medicine
  • Doctor of optometry
  • Chiropractor
  • No hospital-based
    • Defined as performing substantially all his/her services in a inpatient hospital setting or emergency room only (POS 21 OR 23) as per the Continuing Extension of Act of 2010

Medicaid Incentive Payments
  • Eligible professionals with at least 30 percent Medicaid patient volume include:
    • Physicians
    • Dentists
    • Certified nurse midwives
    • Nurse practitioners
  • Pediatricians with at least 20 percent Medicaid patient volume.

Physicians may not collect both Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments