The Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid Services has sent a letter to all state Medicaid directors to provide initial guidance on upcoming Medicaid EHR incentive payments. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, hospitals and physicians that treat a qualifying number of Medicaid patients can apply for incentive payments based on their meaningful use of electronic health records. The letter points out that states may immediately apply for federal funds to pay for 90% of administrative planning activities. It spells out criteria to receive the funding. "This letter, including the enclosures, will provide preliminary guidance on state expenses related to activities in support of the administration of incentive payments to providers," CMS states. "More information will be forthcoming through guidance and rulemaking regarding state administrative expenses and provider incentive payments. We intend to published proposed regulations to address the steps outlined in this letter by the end of the year." Other points of interest in the letter include:

The letter and accompanying documents are available at cms.hhs.gov/Recovery/11_HealthIT.asp. This article can also be found at HealthDataManagement.com.

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