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Who qualifies for the $44,000 HITECH Stimulus incentives?

The HITECH Act specifies that physicians can qualify for $44,000 or more in economic stimulus incentives for adopting an EHR. What does this exactly mean? Does your practice qualify? Here are a few answers concerning HITECH incentives:

     Are HITECH incentives per physician or per office?
     HITECH incentives are paid on a per provider basis. For example, a practice with two physicians and a nurse practitioner using an EHR could qualify for $132,000 in Medicare incentives.

     What types of health care providers can qualify for HITECH incentives?
     The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 details that the following all qualify for HITECH incentives:

  • HospitalsSkilled nursing facilities
  • Home health entities
  • Long term care facilities
  • Renal dialysis facilities
  • Blood centers
  • Ambulatory surgical centers
  • Emergency medical service providers
  • Community mental health centers
  • Health care clinics
  • Federally qualified health centers (FQHC)
  • Group practices
  • Pharmacists
  • Laboratories
  • Physicians (See below)>
  • Practitioners (See below)
  • Indian Health Service providers
  • Rural health clinics
  • Therapists
What types of physicians qualify for HITECH incentives?
     The following types of practices can all qualify for $44,000 or more in HITECH stimulus incentives according to the definitions in the Social Security Act, section 1861(r):

  • Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy – M.D. or D.O.
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery or Medicine – D.D.S or D.D.M
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine – D.P.M.
  • Doctor of Optometry – O.D.
  • Chiropractor – D.C.
     What types of medical practitioners are included in HITECH?
     In addition to the list above, ARRA references “providers as defined in the Social Security Act, section 1842” as qualifying for HITECH incentives. This includes:
  • A physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist
  • A certified registered nurse anesthetist
  • A certified nurse-midwife
  • A clinical social worker
  • A clinical psychologist
  • A registered dietitian or nutrition professional
     Which geographic areas qualify for HITECH incentives?
     ARRA specifies the following regions and territories as qualifying for HITECH incentives:
  • All 50 US states
  • The District of Columbia
  • Puerto Rico
  • The Virgin Islands
  • Guam
  • American Samoa
  • The Northern Mariana Islands
     What types of medical practices do not qualify for HITECH incentives?
     The following types of practices do not qualify for incentives based on our current understanding of the program:
  • Free clinics that don’t bill Medicare or Medicaid
  • Physical therapists
  • Hospital-based physicians such as pathologists, anesthesiologists or emergency physicians
  • Acupuncturists and other holistic providers
  • Any practice not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid payments