Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Payments Unaffected by Sequestration
As required by law, President Obama issued a sequestration order on March 1, 2013, which required mandatory reductions on federal spending. We have received several inquiries regarding whether these reductions would affect incentive payments made by the Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Program. While Medicare incentive payments will be reduced, we have received official guidance that Medicaid EHR incentive payments are not subject to these reductions.
Extension of Deadline for Provider 2012 Applications to 5/31/2013
Due to State Level Registry (SLR) system issues that have precluded providers from attesting to the 2012 program year, DHCS has gained approval from CMS to extend the 2012 program year deadline for providers to 5/31/2013.
Providers Attempting to Apply for 2013
Some providers attempting to apply for 2013 have found that they are not able to select the 2013 program year in the State Level Registry. It is anticipated that this problem will be resolved on June 1, 2013. If you encounter this problem, please reenter the State Level Registry on or after June 1, 2013. If you are still unable to apply for 2013, please contact the SLR HelpDesk.
Groups and Clinics
The following SLR issues have been resolved:
(3/25/13) Providers who were previously unable to utilize group patient volumes for the 2012 program year are now able to do so.
(4/26/13) Providers and groups who previously were unable to access a 2012 tab will now have a 2012 tab available. It is possible that for some providers and groups the data in their accounts must be corrected before being able to take advantage of this change. Xerox will be making these data corrections on a case by case basis in the next few days.
(4/26/13) DHCS now has the ability to reject provider applications, which will enable providers rejected for 2011 to reapply to the program for 2012. Such providers are advised to wait until 4/29/13 before attempting to apply for 2012.
(4/26/13) The SLR is no longer subtracting exclusions from the denominators of Meaningful Use Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs). This error has in the past prevented a few providers from attesting to meaningful use.
If providers are still experiencing SLR problems, they should contact the SLR help desk at 866-879-0109.
2013 Program Year Changes
In response to recent changes in regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has made changes to the Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Program for the 2013 program year. For details, please read 2013 Program Changes
Hospitals that have already attested to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will not be required to enter meaningful use data into the California SLR for the same program year. These hospitals will be deemed to be meaningful users for the Medi-Cal EHR Incentive Program on the basis of their Medicare attestation. These hospitals, however, will need to enter eligibility information into the California SLR.
Hospital Registration Dates:
2013 Program Year: 10/1/2012 – 12/31/2013
Provider Registration Dates:
2012 Program Year: 1/1/2012 – 5/31/2013
2013 Program Year: 1/1/2013 – 3/31/2014
As a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, beginning October 3, 2011 Medi-Cal is able to offer eligible practitioners and hospitals substantial financial incentives to adopt, implement or upgrade to CMS-certified electronic health record (EHR) technologies. Initial payments the first year are based on adoption, implementation or upgrade of certified EHR technology, while following annual payments are based on the meaningful use of the EHR technology. Incentive payments are available to eligible hospitals over four years and for eligible professionals over six years.
Professionals and hospitals are required to first register for the program through CMS. The next step is to apply at the State Level Registry through this portal. Please note that it may take up to 48 hours for your data to be transferred from The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to the State Level Registry, and you will not be able to enter eligibility information or attest until this information has been received.
The page also provides links to valuable resources for professionals and hospitals planning EHR implementation and other health information technology efforts.
Thank you for joining Medi-Cal in realizing the vision of “Connecting California for Better Health.”
The HITECH act provides for the establishment of RECs to provide education, outreach, and technical assistance to help primary care providers in their geographic service areas to select, successfully implement and meaningfully use certified Electronic Health Record technology to improve the quality and value of health care.