Click here to watch the ABC News interview of the AMCIS Patient Portal.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus Bill) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. The bill contains over $20,000,000,000 (twenty billion) dollars in funding for Healthcare Information technology.
If you are a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, you are likely to be entitled to anywhere from $44,000 to $63,750 in government incentives from the Stimulus bill.
At M.D. Web Solutions we are closely monitoring the developments regarding the Stimulus Bill, and Dr. Cyril Spiro, MD, MBA, Founder of M.D. Web Solutions and Lead Architect of The AMCIS Network®, is an expert panelist for Congressman Joe Courtney (D -Conn.) on the Healthcare IT portion of the Stimulus Package. See Article.
Get information updates when new developments take place regarding incentive payments.
You can use the Stimulus Bill Incentive Payments Calculator below to determine how much money you are entitled to for your specific situation. Note, that this Caclculator is intended to be used for Healthcare Providers who work primarily in the Ambulatory Care Setting and are not hospital based.
Physicians, such as radiologists and emergency room physicians are not eligible for stimulus bill payments at this time. Also note that the Calculator applies to each physician in a practice.
How much can I get paid in stimulus bill incentives?
The answer will vary depending on your situation. Use the Stimulus Bill Incentive Payments Calculator above to find out how much you can get paid.
When do Years 1, 2, 3, etc. from the Calculator above start?
To recieve the full stimulus payment amount, Year 1 can be either 2011 or 2012. If Year 1 is 2013 payments will be deducted by $5,000, if Year 1 is 2014 payments will be deducted by $20,000. If you do not have an EMR by 2014, it is too late to receive stimulus payments.
In the first calendar year, you must "Meaningfully use" a "Certified EMR" for a consecutive period of 90 days. In the subsequent years, you must use the EMR all year long.
If you do not yet have an EMR or you are upgrading your current EMR in 2010:
Year 1 can be as early as 2010. You must "Meaningfully use" a "Certified EMR" that is installed or upgraded in 2010 for a consecutive period of 90 days. In Year 2, you must also use the EMR for only a 90 day period. In subsequent years, you must use the EMR all year long.
If you already have an EMR and are not getting an upgrade in 2010:
Year 1 can be as early as 2011 or as late as 2015 to receive the full stimulus payment amount. If Year 1 is 2011, you must "Meaningfully use" a "Certified EMR" for a consecutive period of 90 days. In the subsequent years, you must use the EMR all year long.
Get help in order to start Yr 1 in 2010 or 2011.
What does "Meaningfully use" mean?
Medicare and Medicaid are requiring that you perform certain functions with your EMR. The good news is that if you use a well designed "Certified EMR", peforming those functions will be part of your everyday workflow without additional effort on your part. Some examples include:
Note that #6 requires that your EMR include a patient portal, or that you have a secondary patient portal system that can be integrated with your EMR. Only a small number of EMRs provide an integrated patient portal. The AMCIS Network® is one of them.
- Electronic Prescribing and Lab Ordering.
- Maintaining an Active Medication and Allergies List.
- Using Diagnostic Coding, like the SNOMED or ICD9/10 databases.
- Receiving lab results electronically.
- Using at least 5 alerts for clinical decision support (ex. Yearly retinal exam for Diabetic patients).
- Give patients electronic access to lab results and clinical summarys within 48 hours of a patient visit.
- Electronic data exchange with a provider outside your organization (ex. Hospital).
Learn more about The AMCIS Network® EMR Patient Portal.
Also note that these criteria will become more stringent beginning in 2013. Again, with a well designed EMR, this should not hamper your workflow. Note, however that if Year 1 is 2013 for you, then you will have to start using your EMR with the more stringent requirements.
What is a "Certified EMR"?
A certified EMR, is an EMR that has been certified by an organization that has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a certifying authority. However, CMS has not yet determined who these authorizing organizations will be. They have stated publicly that there will be several of them.
Each of these organizations will certify that an EMR meets the standards set forth by the Office of the National Coordinator of Healthcare IT (ONC), a division of CMS. It is anticipated that ONC will release the names of these organizations sometime in the Spring. Shortly thereafter, EMR vendors will submit their applications for certification testing to one of these organizations. After that, all certified EMRs will then be published on the CMS website.
Get updated when certified EMRs are published by CMS
Does a CCHIT certified EMR qualify me to receive incentive payments?
No. The private organization CCHIT (Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology) has developed its own certification criteria based on the functions that are negotiated by the vendors who pay the CCHIT to certify them. They have not certified EMRs on the criteria made by CMS which are required for a healthcare provider to receive stimulus bill payments.
All vendors who have received CCHIT certification, will need to re-certify their products by an organization authorized by CMS to be a certifying authority. See What is a "Certified EMR"? above.
In the future it is probable that CCHIT will be one of the certifying authorities selected by CMS, however past CCHIT certification status received by vendors will be irrelevant for stimulus payments.
How do I apply for the stimulus bill payments?
There will be a single application process for both Medicare and Medicaid. After submitting the application, you can begin using your EMR. Prior to 2013, after the 90 day period in your first year and after the subsequent year, you will attest to the fact that you used your certified EMR "Meaningfully". After 2013, there will be an electronic method of measuring the "Meaningful use" of your EMR. This electronic system has not yet been put in place.
Get help applying for the stimulus incentives.
When will I get my incentive payments?
After you attest that you have used your EMR meaningfully, you will get paid. In Year 1, you will get paid after the 90 day period. In subsequent years, you will get paid after the year is completed.
Get help attesting that I have used my EMR meaningfully.
What is the difference between an EMR and an EHR?
None to speak of. Some purist Medical Informaticists may argue subtle differences, however for common purposes of communication and use of technology an Electronic Medical Record is synonymous with an Electronic Healthcare Record.
Viewing Portable Document Format files requires Adobe Acrobat Reader software. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you may download it here for Free from Adobe.