Meaningful Use Incentive Payments Due To Begin In May 2011

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin issuing the first of the “meaningful use” incentive payments available under the HITECH Act in May 2011, according to a senior CMS official.

Karen Trudel, Deputy Director for CMS’ Office of E-Health Standards & Services, told Healthcare IT News that registration will open in January 2011.  From then on, healthcare providers will be required to demonstrate “meaningful use” for a period of 90 days in order to be eligible for the incentive bonuses offered under the Act.

Due to the required 90-day demonstration period, “no one will be able to attest before April,” said Ms. Trudel at July 28 meeting of the federal advisory Health IT Standards Committee.  “The first payments will go out in the middle of May.”

In order to receive the incentive payments, hospitals and physicians are required to have a National Provider Identifier (NPI) and must also be enrolled in CMS’ PECOS (Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System).  A majority of providers will also be required to register with the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES).