Frequently Asked Questions Ohio Health Information Partnrship

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1 Frequently Asked Questions Ohio Health Information Partnrship Q. What is the Ohio Health Information Partnership? A.The Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP) is the non profit entity that will assist in the implementation and adoption of health information technology (HIT) throughout Ohio. OHIP, along with its regional partners, was established to help physicians and other providers adopt Electronic Health Records (EHR) and draw down federal incentive dollars while doing so. The overall goal of this effort is to improve the quality and value of health care by allowing authorized providers to have access to a patient s health information regardless of the caresetting. Federal legislation passed in 2009 (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or ARRA) created five major sources of funding to encourage the adoption EHRs. This includes: (1) grants for health information exchanges (HIE); (2)incentives for physicians and hospitals to adopt EHRs; (3)grants for regional extension centers (REC) to assist in that adoption; (4) grants for IT workforce development; and (5) grants to communities that have achieved wide scale use of health information to assist them in disseminating their best practices. The funding in the REC grant goes directly to OHIP and from OHIP on to the regional partners and their sub contractors for providing education and assistance in EHR adoption. The REC grant does not include the stimulus dollars for the physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers who purchase and implement EHR systems in a meaningful way. This funding is provided through Medicare and Medicaid. Q. What activities will OHIP engage in as part of this effort? A.OHIP has two basic functions in Ohio: 1. Develop a statewide health information exchange (HIE) for Ohio. 2. Coordinate the efforts of regional extension center partners (REC) to encourage the adoption of health information technology by physicians and other health care providers in Ohio. In addition, OHIP will assist in the development of the workforce grants and directly help to implement the physician EHR incentive program. Medicare and Medicaid will provide the incentive funding to providers for the meaningful use of an EHR. information becomes available. Page 1

2 Frequently Asked Questions Ohio Health Information Partnership In terms of funding, OHIP is the direct recipient of two of the five grants listed above which were created under ARRA a Health Information Exchange grant and a Regional Extension Center Grant. Q. What is the role of the Regional Partners? A.The Regional Partners are the technical assistance arm for adoption of electronic health records in Ohio. Theywill work with health care providers in their individual regions to help them in three key areas:(1) to assistin the workflow assessment that is necessary to successfully convert to electronic records; (2) to help select and successfully implement EHR systems; and (3) to work with practices to achieve meaningful use of certified EHR technology. To accomplish these goals, the Regional Partners will offer an array of services, including education, outreach, and technical assistance. Also included will be discounted certified EHR offerings and a health IT loan program. There are seven Regional Partners to OHIP throughout the state.ohip and Health Bridge are the entities identified in Ohio as Regional Extension Centers.HealthBridgecovers southwest Ohio, southeastern Indiana, and northern Kentucky. OHIP s Regional Partners will provide services to the practices wishing to convert to EHR or achieve meaningful use in all areas except the 11 counties surrounding Cincinnati and Springfield. These areas will be serviced by HealthBridge. Q. What is the function of the Health Information Exchanges (HIE)? A.Health Information Exchanges are IT networks that provide connectivity between and among health care providers hospitals and providers, hospitals and hospitals, providers and public health agencies, and providers and providers. OHIP received federal and state funding to create the IT architecture for the state of Ohio that will allow local networks to communicate with each other as well as with individual providers and hospitals. Q. What is the overall goal of the OHIP? A.In Ohio, OHIP s goal is to assist 6,000 physicians adopt and meaningfully use an EHR by Nationally, the goal is to have 100,000 physicians adopt an EHR within the next few years. By the end of the decade, the US Department of Health and Human Services would like to have at least 75% of all physicians adopt an EHR. information becomes available. Page 2

3 Frequently Asked Questions Ohio Health Information Partnership Q. Who qualifies to receive assistance through OHIP and its regional partners? A. Priority is given to primary care providers (PPCPs) specifically, MDs or DOs who are family physicians, general internists, pediatricians or obstetrician/gynecologists (board certification not required) and who practice in individual or group settings of fewer than tenphysicians. Other qualifying primary care providers are nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants with prescriptive privileges. Priority is also given to PPCPs who provide primary care services in the following settings: (1) public or critical access hospitals; (2) Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs); (3)rural health clinics; and (4) other settings for predominantly uninsured, underinsured, or medically underserved populations. Direct technical assistance will be capped at the tenprovider level for groups with more than ten physicians/providers. Q.What types of direct technical assistance will be available to PPCPs? A. The following services will be available: implementation and project management; practice and workflow redesign; functional interoperability and health information exchange; vendor selection; privacy and security best practices; and assistance in achieving meaningful use. Q. Will financial incentives be available for PPCPs who implement EHRs? A. Eligible professionals who treat either Medicare or Medicaid patients may be eligible for incentive payments over the next five years if they adopt an electronic health record (EHR) system and use it in a meaningful manner. In order to qualify for Medicaid incentives, a certain percentage of the practice must be Medicaid (as measured in a 90 day period). For pediatric practices, 20% of the patient volume must be Medicaid. Pediatricians with 20 to 30% of their patient volume as Medicaid can earn 2/3 of the total Medicaid incentives for EHR adoption (approximately $42,700 maximum). If the patient volume is 30%, the pediatrician is eligible for the full incentive reimbursement. For non pediatric practices, 30% of the patient volume must be Medicaid (either managed care or fee for service). For Medicare incentives, there is no requirement that a minimum percentage of the practice be Medicare. information becomes available. Page 3

4 Frequently Asked Questions Ohio Health Information Partnership Q. Who qualifies as an Eligible Professional to receive incentive payments for adoption of electronic health records? A. Under Medicare, eligible professionals include: MDs, DOs, Dental Surgeons, Doctors of Dental Medicine, Optometrists, Podiatrists, and Chiropractors. Under Medicaid, eligible professionals include: Physicians, Pediatricians, Dentists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, and Physician Assistants operating at an FQHC led by a Physician Assistant. Q. Are certain providers excluded from receiving financial incentives? A. Yes, hospital based physicians (e.g., radiology, pathology, anesthesiology, ER) are excluded ifmore than 90% of the patients seen are hospital based and the provider uses the hospital s facilities and equipment. Services are considered hospital based if the place of service code is inpatient or emergency department. Hospital based does NOT include ambulatory patients, even if the practice is hospital owned. Q. How large is the incentive payment that eligible providers can receive from Medicare? A. The purpose of this initiative is to encourage early adoption of an EHR, so incentive payments are higher in the first few years of the program. For example, Medicare will pay up to $44,000 over five years to providers that adopt and meaningfully use an EHR in 2011 or 2012 $18,000 the first year, $12,000 for the second, $8,000 for the third, $4,000 for the fourth, and $2,000 for the fifth year. Every provider in a practice who is eligible will receive separate incentive payments. No Medicare incentives are given for adoption in 2015 or later. In fact, starting in 2015, practices that have not adopted an EHR and demonstrated meaningful use will start receiving decreased reimbursement from Medicare. Q. How large is the incentive payment that eligible providers canreceive from Medicaid? A.Medicaid incentives are paid at a higher rate than Medicare, but the same maximum rate ($63,750) applies no matter which year you meet meaningful use from 2011 to There is an additional year of eligibility (2016) for EHR adoption for Medicaid. information becomes available. Page 4

5 Medicaid will pay incentives in the first year to adopt, implement, or upgrade certified EHR technology. The actual procedure for drawing down Medicaid EHR incentives is being Frequently Asked Questions Ohio Health Information Partnership developed by the state of Ohio s Medicaid program, which oversees the Medicaid incentive payments. Thereare no reimbursement penalties for failure to adoptan EHR system under Medicaid. Q. Are there other incentives? A. If the physician or provider has at least 50% of his or her practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), then the physician or provider is eligible for an additional 10% incentive payment over his or her Medicare incentive. This is automatically calculated and does not require the provider to apply separately for the increased payment. Q. How are the incentive payments calculated? A. Payments are calculated using 75% of Medicare fee for service billing for the preceding year, up to the maximum permitted. To receive maximum reimbursement for the first year, a practice would need to have $24,000 in Medicare allowed charges for the preceding year. Charges do NOT include Medicare Advantage billings except in situations where the practitioner is part of a Medicare Advantage HMO. If the practice has more than one site, 50% or more of the patient encounters must occur at a location or locations that have certified EHR technology to draw down incentive payments in that year. Practices that wish to receive Medicare incentive payments at the earliest possible date are only required to have to meaningfully used the EHR for 90 consecutive days in The 2011 period needs to be followed up with a full year of EHR use in For Medicaid incentives, payment is calculated on the actual cost of the EHR system, including the cost of training and support. The reimbursable amount of Medicaid incentives is 85% of the cost, with a maximum for the first year being $21,250 (85% of $25,000). If the physician or practitioner has received outside assistance in purchasing an EHR, Medicaid will still allow $29,000 in subsidy before the incentive payment is decreased. Q. When do the payments start? information becomes available. Page 5

6 A.The first year that is considered to determine meaningful use is Payments are calculated usingthe claims received by Medicare by the end of February of The provider needs to sign up for the incentive program, meet meaningful use for 90 days for Medicare reimbursement, then sign the attestation form that he/she has met the requirements.therefore, the first payment could be received as early as May, Payment will be made as one payment for each year of eligibility. The first Medicaid payments willmost likely be in the summer of To further encourage early adoption, practices that adopt EHR in 2011 or 2012only have to meet Stage 1 requirements for meaningful use, which can be done very quickly at this level. Documentation of Stage 1 meaningful use is very general. In most instances it just requires a provider to attest to the percentage of patients that the practice treats using the stated standard. Q. What qualifies as Meaningful Use? A. There are three elements of meaningful use: 1. Use of a certified electronic health record (EHR) in a meaningful way (e.g., e prescribing). 2. The technology is connected in a way that provides electronic exchange of health information to improve the quality of care. 3. Clinical quality measures are submitted to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). information becomes available. Page 6

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