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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality

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If I already have an EHR, do I need to upgrade my system to receive EHR incentive payments?

Medicaid eligible providers who have an EHR that does not meet the “certified EHR” standards or is not certified by an ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies" (ATCBs) can receive payment for upgrading to certified EHR technology in their first year participating in the program.  Even if your EHR was certified by a certification body (e.g., CCHIT) prior to the EHR Incentive Program, it will still need to be certified by an ATCB as meeting ONC’s Meaningful Use standards.  If it is not certified by an ATCB, you will need to upgrade it to one that is certified in order to receive EHR incentive payments.  If your EHR is on the ATCB certified list, you can receive incentive payments but will need to demonstrate Meaningful Use during your first year that you participate in the program.   

When upgrading your EHR system, be sure that it meets the “certified EHR" standards as defined by the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria Final Rule and or is listed on the ONC website’s Certified HIT Products List (CHPL).  See also the previous question and response, “If I am implementing an EHR for the first time, what do I need to do now?”

Related Resources:

Certified HIT Product List – A comprehensive list of complete EHRs and EHR modules that have been tested and certified under the Temporary Certification Program maintained by ONC.
ONC Standards and Certification Criteria Final Rule: Facts-at-a-Glance
ONC Standards and Certification Criteria Final Rule: Frequently Asked Questions
Regional Extension Centers – ONC announcement that lists the 62 Regional Extension Centers, their websites, and persons to contact.
Tips for Conducting Meaningful Use Gap Analysis within the Safety Net Community go to exit disclaimer– HRSA webinar provides information on how HRSA grantees and the safety net community can conduct a Meaningful Use gap analysis for determining the next steps to become meaningful users of health IT.  

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