24 September 2012

EHR Incentive Update

From Andrea Thau , our AOA trustee Liaison 

      Update on PQRS, EHR and Other Incentive Payments
§  AOA advocates for optometry’s inclusion in Federal health care provider incentive programs so that optometrists can earn additional income (or avoid unnecessary reductions), demonstrate their clinical quality and economic value, and integrate with other health care practitioners treating patients in their communities.  In addition, the more optometrists participate and succeed in these programs, the more the profession of optometry stands out as a leader in the efficient delivery of high quality care.  With this additional evidence of the value of optometry, AOA can advocate more effectively for optometrists. 

§  Some figures are older than others, but everything cited represents the most current data publicly available.  
§  Optometrists received $40 million for meaningful use of electronic health records in 2011, with millions more coming this year.
§  In 2010, 3,058 optometrists earned Medicare PQRS bonuses worth $3,387,013.49. 
§  In 2010, 936 optometrists earned Medicare eRx bonuses worth $2,304,808.70.
§  Since the PQRS and eRx incentives began, they have been worth more than $15 million to optometrists.

§  Note that CMS made optometrists exempt from the eRx penalties that began in 2012, and that saved optometrists tens of millions of dollars in 2012-2014.

§  For January through June 2012:
§  At least 2,465 optometrists have been paid a Medicare incentive, worth a total of $38,843,687.
§  Optometrists have received $36,863,687 in Medicare incentives for 2011 performance.
§  Optometrists have received $1,980,000 in Medicare incentives for 2012 performance.  This number will increase substantially later in the year.

§  No data from Medicaid EHR incentive payments is available as yet, though ODs are fully eligible for the Medicaid incentives in 8 states -- Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, South Carolina, Alabama, Michigan, Louisiana, and Virginia.  A ninth, New Jersey, is pending and the AOA Washington Office is ready to assist any state in seeking to gain eligibility for ODs.

Please join AOA in encouraging doctors to participate in these incentive programs.


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