CMS Issues New and Updated HIPAA and HITECH Act FAQs: EHR Incentives

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) periodically issues new and updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). will periodically reproduce new and updated Questions and Answers pertaining to HIPAA Administrative Simplification standards and implementation specifications and to HITECH Act provisions that will be of interest to its readers.  The FAQ [ID#9844] that follows is new, published by CMS on August 13, 2009.

Question:  Are physicians who practice in hospital-based ambulatory clinics eligible to receive the Recovery Act’s Medicare or Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments.

Answer:  Hospital-based eligible professionals are ineligible for the EHR incentive payments under both Medicare and Medicaid.  Our [Department of Health and Human Services] forthcoming NPRM [Notice of Proposed Rule Making] will propose a definition for determining whether a physician or other eligible professional is hospital based.

For information on the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs, see Title IV, pp. 353-382 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009, which is available for download on

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