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Stimulus Update: Registration for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs is open

January 12, 2011

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a new registration and self-attestation web page for eligible providers planning to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. This is a huge milestone that marks the official start of the incentive programs announced as part of the ARRA/HITECH stimulus legislation passed by Congress in 2009.

The CMS webpage contains a step-by-step user guide with a link to the registration and attestation site and other useful information about the registration process, such as what information you need to have ready before getting started.

Here are a few frequently asked questions we are hearing about the registration and attestation process.

What is registration all about and when do I need to complete the process?
Registration is the first step for either participating in either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. This indicates that a provider plans to participate in one of the two programs. There is no deadline for registration, but you cannot attest to meaningful use or get paid before you register, so CMS recommends that you register as soon as possible.

What if I haven’t purchased or implemented a certified EHR yet?
To register, eligible providers do not need to be ready to demonstrate meaningful use as defined under the final rule, or even have a certified EHR. You will be required to identify your certified EHR and provide the vendor certification number at the time of attestation.

What is meant by “attestation” and when do I need to complete that part of the process?
Attestation (or self-attestation) is the process in the first payment year of the EHR Incentive Program for eligible providers to notify CMS that they have completed 90 consecutive days of meaningful use and to request the incentive payment. An eligible provider who has been a meaningful user of a certified EHR for 90 consecutive days in 2011 may complete the attestation as early as April. October 3, 2011 is the latest date a provider can begin the 90-day meaningful use reporting period in order to attest by December 31 and receive payment for the 2011 calendar year.

What is meant by a “certified EHR” and does Sage have a certified product?
As defined under the rules of the CMS EHR Incentive Program, a certified EHR is an electronic health record system that has been granted certification by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology through an accredited certification body, or ONC-ATCB. The Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition has received ONC-ATCB certification and is therefore a “certified EHR”.

I already have Sage Intergy EHR. What more do I need in order to have the certified Meaningful Use Edition?
The Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition consists of Sage Intergy EHR and other components required for meeting and reporting on meaningful use. Your Sage representative can assist you in assessing your current system and determining what you need to upgrade to the full Meaningful Use Edition.

Contact your Sage Representative

What is meant by “meaningful use”?
CMS defines meaningful use according to a set of 15 required (or Core) criteria that an eligible provider must meet using a certified EHR. CMS also identified an additional Menu set of criteria, with the requirement that the provider meets no less than five of these.

View Core and Menu Set Criteria for Stage 1

Visit the links below for more information on ARRA/HITECH and the certified Sage solution for meaningful use.

ARRA/HITECH Information
Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition online demo
Sage Certification
CMS registration and self-attestation website
Request More Information

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