That goes up with every passing year.
Another interesting incentive: the physician’s payment will be based on multiplying his or her allowable charges by 75 percent, so seeing a Medicare patient and using an EHR should make the patient (me) worth 75 percent more to the physician who sees me, especially if he delivers professional services, and doesn’t just send me for an MRI or to a lab. The incentive doesn’t count fees for surgicenters or technical components of a doctor visit. This will be Medicare Part B services. (A physician aiming to collect $18k in 2011 has to submit allowable charges of $24k to Medicare and she will get paid $24k+$18k).
Physicians have to choose whether they want to participate in the Medicare part of the incentive program, or the Medicaid part. For a busy primary care practice, I bet Medicaid patients begin to look more attractive.
Now, away from the money and on to the part that benefits the patient:
Your doctor will now have to use five decision-support alerts in her software, and will have to give you electronic access to your records within 48 hours of your request. The incentives encourage the patient to become part of the conversation, and the doctor to communicate with the patient electronically. The government wants people to use personal health records, and for the physician to communicate with those PHRs, and that is going to happen FAST.
Here’s what the EHRs these physicians adopt will be required to do for the physician to get the subsidy:
• Electronically select, sort, retrieve, and output a list of patients and patients’ clinical information, based on user-defined demographic data, medication list, and specific conditions.
• Calculate and electronically display quality measure results as specified by CMS or states.
• Electronically submit calculated clinical quality measures
• Electronically generate a patient reminder list for preventive or follow-up care according to patient preferences based on demographic data, specific conditions, and/or medication list.