CMS: Meaningful Use penalties to reach $200M

Dive Brief:

  • Current CMS data indicate that eligible professionals are facing an estimated $200 million in Medicare reimbursement penalties in 2015 for failure to fulfill Medicare meaningful use obligations. The numbers were announced this week during a HIT Policy Committee meeting.
  • The committee report indicates that the highest breakdown of EPs (34% or 87,000) will see payment adjustments ranging from $1 to $250.
  • The further breakdown shows 21% (55,000 EPs) can expect adjustments from $250 to $1,000; 14% (36,000) can expect adjustments from $1,000 to $2,000; and 31% (78,000) can expect adjustments upwards of $2,000.

Dive Insight:

These numbers illustrate the ongoing challenges with the controversial meaningful use program, which was intended to create incentives for the use of certified electronic health records through Medicare and Medicaid payments.

The AMA called it "alarming" that more than three-quarters of eligible professionals have still been unable to attest to meaningful use.

"The program's one-size-fits-all approach, that has not been proven to improve quality, has made it difficult for physicians to take part," said the AMA in a prepared statement. The association suggests the penalties undermine the program's goals and make it harder for physicians to meet meaningful use in the future due to the costs involved.

Data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT show that 90% of the nearly 5,000 eligible hospitals report achieving some stage of meaningful use as of December 2014, according to Health Data Management.

Filed Under: Health IT Policy & Regulation