EHR Incentive Overview

In addition to the information presented below, also see our FAQs for more details.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act

The HITECH Act is a part of the American Re-Investment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009. (This is not to be confused with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010.) The purpose of the HITECH Act is to support the adoption and use of certified electronic health records (EHR) by providing financial incentives under the Medicare and Medicaid Programs to Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals (EHs). To qualify for an EHR Incentive Payment, an eligible provider must implement and demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology (CEHRT).

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) contracts with independent certification bodies to review and determine if the EHR systems/modules submitted by EHR vendors meet the requirements of 45 CFR § 170. The ONC maintains a web site – Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) – of the systems/modules that have met these requirements. Attesting providers must provide the CMS Certification number of their system and/or modules when attempting to qualify for an EHR Incentive Payment.

Once providers have adopted, implemented, or upgraded to certified EHR technology, the focus of the EHR incentive program is the meaningful use of this technology. The meaningful use criteria, established by CMS, outline specific activities to be performed and benchmarks to be achieved to be considered a meaningful user, and meaningful use advances through three progressive stages over the six-year course of the program.

The TennCare Medicaid EHR Provider Incentive Payment Program

The TennCare Medicaid EHR Provider Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) began accepting provider registration information from CMS in January 2011. The first attestation packets (under the original system) were sent out April 1, 2011, and the first provider payments were made in June. On the EHR home page, you will find a weekly updated list of the number of providers paid and the total amounts paid. In November 2011, the TennCare Medicaid Provider Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) portal was opened allowing providers to submit their attestations on-line.
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