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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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What is the EHR Incentive Program?

The EHR (Electronic Health Record) Incentive Program will provide incentive payments to encourage health care providers to adopt and meaningfully use EHR technologies.  The incentive payments are intended to promote the adoption and meaningful use of EHRs, and to ultimately improve the quality, safety, and the efficiency of health care.  The EHR Incentive Program Final Rule, issued by CMS in July 2010, specifies what providers must do to demonstrate Meaningful Use and to receive these incentive payments.    

The EHR Incentive Program includes a Medicaid Incentive Program and a Medicare incentive program.  The definition of Meaningful Use and the criteria that determine whether an EHR is being used in a meaningful way were designed to be as similar as possible across both programs.  Nonetheless, some of the eligibility criteria, reporting requirements, and incentive structures differ.  Their administration differs as well.  The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is administered by States and Territories, with oversight provided by CMS, while the Medicare EHR Incentive Program is administered by CMS.  The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program’s more flexible structure is to ensure that Medicaid providers who elect to participate will qualify for these incentives.    

This toolkit focuses on the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program because most Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grantees, including FQHCs and RHCs, can qualify for this program.  For grantees that are eligible to participate in both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, more are expected to participate in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program because of its higher incentive payments and more flexible structure.  The resources below provide additional information on the EHR Incentive Program.   

Related Resources:

Electronic Health Records – CMS’ definition of EHRs and EHRs’ potential to improve patient care.    
EHR Incentive Program Overview – CMS’ overview on the official website of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
Rural Health IT Resources – HRSA Rural Health website with information about health IT for rural health care providers.

Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
Health Information Technology Toolboxes help health centers, safety net providers, and ambulatory care providers with electronic and online resources and technical assistance to improve patient care.  More>
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