ARRA EHR Stimulus Payments Under Medicare

Posted on July 8, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

UPDATE: Many of you will find my presentation on the ARRA EMR Simulus money of interest.

There’s been a lot of talk (including myself) about the EHR stimulus money. It seems like meaningful use has taken the cake with most of the discussion with certified EHR taking a cozy second place. What I haven’t seen very much of is some practical analysis of the EHR stimulus money and the amount of money various practices will receive. So, I’m going to try to do my part to create some of this practical EHR stimulus money content.

I’m sure that most people have seen a chart like this one describing the $44,000 of EHR stimulus money you can receive from ARRA:

Source: http://hitanalyst.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/hitech2.jpg?w=500&h=234

Source: http://hitanalyst.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/hitech2.jpg?w=500&h=234

Basically, the schedule shows you that you can earn UP TO $18,000 in 2011 (assuming of course that you can show “meaningful use” on a “certified EHR”). What hasn’t been discussed is how many doctors will be eligible for the full $18,000 in stimulus money and how many would only be eligible for $10k or $5k in stimulus money and how much allowable Medicare charges you’ll need to have to receive the full reimbursement.

The EHR stimulus Medicare payments will be paid based on 75% of the submitted allowable charges. For example, a doctors office which has allowable Medicare charges totally $24k or more will be eligible to receive the full $18k in EHR stimulus money. A clinic with $13.3k in allowable Medicare charges would only be eligible for $10k in EHR stimulus money. You can do the math for your own clinic.

Maybe this is a non issue for most clinics. I don’t know. I’ve never seen any published average reimbursement rates for a doctor. $24k doesn’t seem like a lot of Medicare reimbursement, but certainly there are some doctors who are under that amount. Later today I’ll post a poll so we can get a better idea of the average reimbursement rates for a doctor.

What’s most important is for people to know that they’ll only be getting 75% of their Medicare allowable charges up to the cap.