What CMS Says (And Doesn’t Say) About Small and Rural Providers

by Louis Wenzlow, Rural Wisconsin Health Network Proposed HIT Incentive Rule: What CMS Says (And Doesn't Say) About Small and Rural Providers In order to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Social Security Act, CMS is required to examine and analyze the impacts of the proposed EHR incentive rule on "small entities" and separately on small rural hospitals. The CMS analyses are noteworthy not for what they say, but for what they don't say, since they reveal literally...

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CMS Excludes “Provider-Based” Clinics from All EHR Incentives

by Louis Wenzlow, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative On December 30th, CMS released its proposed rule for the ARRA electronic health record incentive program. Among the issues that will impact rural providers is which physicians will qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid eligible professional incentives. Summary My interpretation of which eligible professionals (see Key ARRA Language for definitions of eligible professional) qualify for the incentives is as follows: Eligible ...

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CMS Meaningful Use Definition Impact on Rural Providers

by Louis Wenzlow, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative CMS Rule: Meaningful Use Definition Impact on Rural Providers Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), eligible physicians and hospitals must reach a certain threshold of EHR adoption (called "meaningful EHR use") in order to earn CMS incentive payments. In July, the ARRA-established HIT Policy Committee recommended a wide range of meaningful use objectives for CMS to consider in the development of a proposed HIT...

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CAH “EHR Eligible Expense” Definition Still Lacks Clarity

by Louis Wenzlow, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative CMS Proposed Rule: What Is A Certified EHR Expense? On December 30th, CMS released its proposed rule and ONC released its interim final rule for the ARRA electronic health record incentive program. Among the issues that will impact rural providers is what qualifies as an EHR expense. This issue will specifically impact critical access hospitals (CAHs), which will receive Medicare incentives based on their “costs incurred for the...

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CMS Proposed Rule Excludes CAHs from Medicaid Incentives

by Louis Wenzlow, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative On December 30th, CMS released its proposed rule for the ARRA electronic health record incentive program. Among the issues in the proposed rule that will impact rural providers is that CMS has decided to exclude critical access hospitals (CAHs) from participating in the Medicaid portion of the incentive program. Numerous studies have indicated that CAHs have significantly lower EHR adoption rates than general hospitals, as well as...

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