The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act establishes an incentive program that provides incentive payments to eligible physicians (EP) and eligible hospitals for meaningfully using electronic health records (EHR). While many specialists are learning the conditions under which they can capitalize on these incentive payments, anesthesiologists will learn that they do not qualify as EPs, thus not able to receive incentive payments for their meaningful use of EHRs.
One requirement that a physician satisfy is that s/he is a non-hospital-based physician. “Hospital-based” physicians are defined to include those that provide 90% of their Medicare-covered services within a Place of Service (POS) of 21, 22, or 23–either an inpatient hospital, outpatient hospital, or emergency room hospital, respectively. Furthermore, the statute explicitly states that anesthesiologists–who furnish substantially all of their Medicare-covered services in a hospital setting, using the hospital’s facilities and equipment, and qualified EHRs–are not eligible to receive the incentive payments because they are not bringing their own equipment to the hospital in furtherance of the medical services they perform. If a hospital demonstrates is meaningful use of an EHR, it can qualify for incentive payments.
For more information, please contact Abby Pendleton, Esq. at (248) 996-8510, visit the Anesthesia page, or the HLP website.