On Jan. 3, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opened registration for eligible professionals to enroll in the system of health information technology incentive payments established in the HITECH Act of 2009. The incentive payments provide up to a total of $63,000 for providers and organizations that adopt, implement or upgrade health IT. Eligible professionals and organizations currently include physicians, nurse practitioners, certain physician assistants, acute care hospitals, and children’s hospitals.
Organizations with a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner on staff may apply for the payments as of Jan. 3, contingent on their state having put in place a plan to administer the payments. The National Council hosted a webinar on Dec. 14 with information about program eligibility and instructions on how to register to take advantage of the payments. Click to view the slides and recording from this webinar. The National Council has worked closely with Congress to introduce legislation that would make behavioral health providers eligible for the payments. More information about this bill is available on the HIT page of our website.
Participating professionals must demonstrate meaningful use of a certified health IT product. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released a final rule outlining the requirements for products to become certified. The final rule builds on an earlier interim rule that will remain in effect until the setup of the permanent program is complete. A list of products that have already met certification requirements is available online.