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What is the EHR Incentive Program and how is it applicable to oral health providers?

On July 28, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the Final Rule on the Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology and the Final Rule on the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.  These documents set forth the directives for implementing the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) related to the Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHRs).

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). According to CMS, these programs “provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate Meaningful Use of certified EHR technology.” Under both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, eligible providers, including dentists, can qualify to receive monetary incentives as they adopt, implement, upgrade and/or demonstrate Meaningful Use.

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