Incentive payments offered by Medicare and Medicaid to eligible medical professionals and healthcare facilities for purchase of electronic health record systems open a window of opportunity during which costs of the sophisticated software systems may be defrayed. Rehab Management columnist and legal expert, Cherilyn G. Murer, JD, CRA, (pictured at right) smartly outlines what individual practitioners and facilities both should know to make an informed purchase in her article, Guiding Physician Practices through EHR Implementation and Incentive Payments.

A five-stage approach is offered in this article to help optimize purchase strategies and take advantage of incentives laid out separately by Medicare and Medicaid. The value of these incentives reaches up to $2 million for certain facilities and up to $63,750 for eligible professionals. Murer also notes the dates by which EHR systems must be in place to avoid a reduction in Medicare reimbursement, and explains the role of "meaningful use," according to Medicare’s criteria.

Read the complete article in the August/September RM’s Trends and Issues.