The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminds hospitals that 2015 is the last year for eligible hospitals to begin participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program and earn incentive payments.

In order to earn a 2015 incentive payment, be eligible for a 2016 incentive payment, and avoid a 2016 payment reduction (called an “adjustment”), first-time hospital participants should:

  • Begin their 90-day reporting period no later than April 1, 2015 and
  • Attest by July 1, 2015.

Eligible hospitals that do not start their 90-day reporting period on April 1, 2015 have one last chance to earn a 2015 incentive payment if they begin their reporting period by July 1, 2015 and attest by November 30, 2015. However, those hospitals will still be subject to the 2016 payment adjustment unless they apply and qualify for a hardship exemption on the basis that demonstrating meaningful use would result in a significant hardship to their hospital.

Eligible hospitals that begin participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program after 2015 will not be able to earn any incentive payments. Moreover, those hospitals will be subject to payment adjustments in 2016 and 2017.

For assistance and answers to your questions about the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, check out these CMS resources.