Meaningful Use Attestation Has Begun! Payments Are Coming!

Although the laboratory is not directly involved in the attestation process for meaningful use, you may want to know what’s going on.

April 18, 2011 was the first date eligible professionals (EP) and eligible hospitals (EH) could begin attestation.  On that first day, 150 EPs successfully completed the process. To receive incentive payments for 2011, the drop-dead date to begin the 90-day reporting period is October 1, 2011, for EPs and July 3, 2011, for EHs and critical access hospitals.

To perform the attestation, simply go to the CMS website to log on, and follow the prompts.

  • If you are an EP, you will need your NPI and to have a National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) web user account to log on.
  • If you are an EH, you must have an active NPI.  Users working on behalf of an EH must have an Identity and Access Management System (I&A) web user account and password that is associated with the hospital NPI.

Both EPs and EHs will need the certification number of their EMR system(s).

We have posted the attestation user guides from CMS on our Orchard website.  These guides contain screenshots of the process and will help you navigate successfully.

For the first year, CMS will use cost reports on file to determine the size of a hospital’s meaningful use payment. When the 2011 cost reports are available, the payment will be reconciled and may be adjusted higher, or the hospital may have to repay some money.  There will be only one annual payment to EPs, so if you have not reached the maximum claim limit at attestation time, payment will be held until the required Medicare threshold is reached, so that the EP receives the maximum amount allowed.

An EP can send electronic prescriptions from its own user ID, or permit a designee to send the prescriptions from the designee’s user ID for the prescription to count toward meeting the meaningful use criteria. Under the CPOE criteria, however, all orders must come from the EP’s user ID.

A physician leaving a practice after having demonstrated meaningful use does not affect the attestation, as the departure wouldn’t change the fact that the practice met the criteria during the reporting period.

Also note that a provider can register for attestation with a certain tax ID number in the first year and change to a different number in subsequent years. The only limit is that the tax ID being used must be associated with the national provider identifier.

The EP/EH should be paid within 4-6 weeks after successful attestation.  Of course, there is a caveat.  The OIG will be monitoring MU attestation.  You know what that means.

Ginger Wooster, MBA, MT (ASCP)
Director of Regulatory Affairs & Applications Specialist
Orchard Software Corporation

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