06 February 2012

EHR Money.. Did you get yours?

AOA Members Report Receiving $18,000 Thanks to AOA Insistence on Inclusion of Optometrists in Federal Program
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) data show optometrists are quickly establishing themselves as leaders in the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), according to the AOA Advocacy Group.
Some 614 optometrists qualified for bonus payments during the first 11 months of the department’s Medicare EHR Incentive Program, according to data posted online by the HHS.
Optometrists have already reaped $11 million in payments through the Medicare EHR Incentive program, the AOA Advocacy Group noted.
"That is a direct result of action by the AOA Advocacy Group over recent years to ensure optometrists are eligible for the Medicare incentive program, as well as an extensive AOA education program to help optometrists implement EHR systems and qualify for incentives,” said AOA President Dori Carlson, O.D.
Overall, optometry ranks ninth among all of the various types of health care practitioners and facilities tracked by the HHS for participation in the Medicare EHR program.
“This is great news. More than 600 individual optometrists have already earned up to $18,000 in incentives under the Medicare EHR program. Moreover, optometry, as a profession, is positioning itself for participation in the nation’s planned new EHR network and success in the coming pay-for-performance reimbursement programs that will be based on data obtained through EHR systems,” said Philip Gross, O.D., chair of the AOA HIT Subcommittee.
Over the past 10 months, hundreds of AOA members attended the association’s  EHR course at state optometric association meetings or Optometry’s Meeting®, he said.   A new, expanded version of the program, “Navigating Meaningful Use, Quality Reporting, and e-Prescribing with EHRs” is being offered at optometric meetings this year.
For additional information on the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, see the AOA Web site EHR page (www.aoa.org/EHR).


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