Meaningful Use Incentives Extended to Critical Access ‘Method II’ Docs

By: Marla Durben Hirsch

The maximum payment these physicians will be able to receive is $38,220. They also now are subject to payment adjustments for failing to meet Meaningful Use as of 2015.

The rule also makes some technical corrections to the incentive program regarding cost reporting and definitions.

This is not the first time that the Meaningful Use program has been tweaked to enable providers initially left out to ultimately participate. Rural health centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers have also been added; bills have been introduced in Congress to expand the program further to behavioral health specialists and safety net clinics.

Researchers publishing in August in Health Affairs found that smaller and critical access hospitals were particularly vulnerable to falling behind in Meaningful Use of EHRs due to their low patient volume, lack of resources to invest in EHRs, difficulty recruiting qualified IT personnel and trouble finding a suitable EHR vendor.

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