Healthcare Training: How to Register for EHR Bonus Incentive Program?

Regarding Medicare registration, although the Medicaid EHR incentive program opened in January, some states are not ready to participate yet. Information on when registration will be available for Medicaid is specific. You could find that on your state-specific Medicaid website. Read this expert guidance provided by our expert in a healthcare conference.

Eligible professionals, you can't register for the Medicaid EHR program until your state program has been launched. And they've opened that site up. So if you're wanting to do the Medicaid bonus, you have to wait until your state has opened that program up.

Now, for attestation. For Medicare, it opened and it's You just go there and you can go through all of the requirements there. Here is what you need to do. You have to successfully register. You have to meet the meaningful use criteria. You have to attest that you have met meaningful use criteria and then you can begin to receive the stimulus bonus.

Now, you're going to need a CMS EHR certification ID from the ONC's website for the software that you're going to be using as per updated CMS rules. Aha! There is something new. Now, the software that you use has to be certified. And when you do the attestation, they're going to make you have this ID number that's going to say, “Okay, we tie that ID number to a certified product.” Then they'll know that yes, you are eligible.

Because if it's not a certified EHR program, then you don't qualify even if you go through all the steps. It has to be certified through the Office of National Coordinator, the ONC. And again, there's a Medicare attestation user guide and a worksheet for eligible professionals.

Now for attestation through Medicaid, you're going to follow a similar process using your state's system as per healthcare rules. So you can check to see your state scheduled launch date.
Now let's talk about the certified EHR technology. The EHR that you select has to be certified as meeting standards adopted by the Secretary and capable of supporting the achievement of meaningful use. There is a list of certified EHR technologies and it's around 800 products now that have been certified.

The ONC began accepting applications for approved testing and certification bodies on July 1 last year and they've since established six different certification and testing bodies to test and certify EHRs and/or EHR modules.

That list of products is updated on the ONC's authorized testing and certification bodies' website. And again, there's a list that you can search.

So what if you're already using an EHR? Well, if it's not on the list, it's not going to qualify for the bonus. So you want to make sure that it's on the list. And if it's not, then you want to talk to your vendor about when they're going to have the certification as per CMS rules.

Our expert stated in a healthcare webinar that actually there are six authorized testing and certifying bodies. Well, CCHIT out of Chicago is one of them, the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology; the Drummond Group in Austin; the InfoGard Laboratories in California; Surescripts; and then ISCA Lab and SLI Global Solutions. These are the certifying bodies that certify EHR products.

Some of them can only do, like for instance, Surescripts, they're doing EHR modules, e-prescribing and for privacy and security. ISCA Lab, they're doing complete EHR and EHR modules, same with SLI Global. We go back to CCHIT, they're doing complete EHR and EHR modules. So it looks like Surescripts is only doing e-prescribing and privacy and security.

Now, certification by an ATCB – authorized testing/certifying body – signifies the eligibility of a product and that it's met the meaningful use requirement capabilities to support your effort in meeting meaningful use. So that's what their purpose is.

And all of this was done under a temporary certification program as per healthcare guidelines. Now, the ONC has appointed American National Standards Institute or ANSI to oversee the permanent certification program.

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