How do you know which stimulus program is right for your urgent care center?

I recently received a question from the executive director of an urgent care center regarding the difference between the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and the eRx Incentive Program, which are both being offered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Her group has four full-time physicians, but they only do about $40,000 total per year with Medicare. Because physicians can only participate in one of the two programs, she wondered if it would be more beneficial for her practice to go for the eRx bonus instead of the EHR bonus.

While it might seem like $40,000 in Medicare charges is not enough to garner much in stimulus money, crunching the numbers reveals it really would be advantageous to go for the EHR stimulus program. With the EHR program, eligible physicians can receive up to 75% of their Medicare allowable charges over the course of 5 years for a total of up to $44,000. However, with the eRx program eligible physicians can receive only 1% of their allowed charges in 2011 and 2012. Take a look at the figures:

  • EHR stimulus: 75% x $40,000 = $30,000
  • eRx stimulus: 1% x $40,000 = $400

That’s a difference of $29,600! Simply put, do not disregard the EHR Incentive program because you could be missing out on up to $44,000 in stimulus dollars. Registration opened in January, and you have until 2012 to receive maximum payments. It’s important to note that there are Medicare penalties after 2015 for physicians who do not demonstrate meaningful use of EHR technology, the main component of the incentive program.

For more information on the EHR Incentive Program, download a whitepaper produced by Practice Velocity.

Practice Velocity’s EMR is certified to meet meaningful use criteria for the EHR Incentive Program. Schedule a free demo today.