Payment rules for non-MU eligible care facilities seek to tie reimbursement to EHR use

CMS' final 2015 payment rule for inpatient psychiatric facilities and the prospective 2015 payment rule for skilled nursing facilities both include incentives and payment adjustments to encourage these providers to adopt electronic health records.

Under the inpatient psychiatric facilities rule, not using an EHR will cost an organization up to 2 percent of its Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, even though inpatient psychiatric facilities will remain excluded from the EHR incentive program. According to the payment rule, the improvements in care quality that result from EHRs make it appropriate to mandate their use without providing incentive funds. "We believe that the evidence demonstrating the positive effects of EHR use on multiple aspects of medical care supports its adoption as a quality measure independent of a facility's possible eligibility for incentives promoting such use," according to the payment rule.

The proposed skilled nursing facilities rule includes mention of linking reimbursements to EHR use, though does not go into specifics: "[there will be] an alignment of incentives and payment adjustments to encourage provider adoption and optimization of health IT and health information exchange through Medicare and Medicaid payment policies."

More articles on EHR incentives:

EHRs: 50 things to know
25 things to know about hospitals, health systems' investments in IT
HCA appoints Chris Taylor as Parallon president

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