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CMS: Method II physicians eligible for Medicare EHR incentives

January 11, 2013

Certain physicians who provide services in the outpatient departments of critical access hospitals are eligible to participate in the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program beginning this year, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. However, due to CMS system changes that will be implemented over the coming year, these physicians will not be able to submit attestations until January 2014. They will not be able to receive incentives for 2012. The announcement came in response to a letter from AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack requesting timely action to address this acknowledged issue. The affected physicians are those for whom a CAH bills Medicare for their outpatient department services using optional Method II. Under this method, the CAH bills Medicare on behalf of the physician for services covered under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Due to system constraints, CMS did not include these Method II claims when it identified which physicians were eligible for its incentive programs. As a result, Method II physicians were inappropriately excluded from the EHR incentive program because they were designated as "hospital-based" when they are not. For more, see the CMS factsheet.