Switching Between Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on November 14, 2011 I Written By

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money. Check out Lynn’s previous Meaningful Use Monday posts.

EPs cannot receive EHR incentives from both Medicare and Medicaid in the same year—they must choose between the two, even if they are eligible under both programs. As discussed in a prior Meaningful Use Monday post, Medicaid is typically the EHR incentive program of choice for EPs who have a sufficiently large Medicaid volume. 

But providers must re-qualify annually, so what happens if the participating provider’s Medicaid volume drops below the 30% (or 20% peds.) threshold in a future year, making him/her no longer eligible for that program? What about an EP who initially participates as a Medicare provider, but subsequently becomes eligible for the more generous Medicaid program? As the first EHR Incentive Program participants approach year 2, they need to understand their options in this regard. 

The rule is as follows:  An EP may switch from one program to another, but only one time after receiving his/her first EHR incentive payment, and only for a payment year before 2015.  

Note: In case you are doing the math and calculating how you could game the system to increase your potential revenue, the rule goes on to say that under no circumstances can an EP’s total incentives exceed the total available under Medicaid, (i.e., $63,750).