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If a physician accepts payments, but does not demonstrate use of the system, penalties can be assessed, as payments for the use are given during the first years,
In order to qualify for the Stimulus incentive payments, doctors have to demonstrate three things:
The HiTech Act allocates $36 billion for incentive payments to healthcare providers who demonstrate use of Electronic Health Records (EHR). There are two allocation programs, one for physicians who have many Medicaid patients, and a second program for those who accept Medicare.
Medicaid providers: Doctors in practices where 30% percent of their patients pay via Medicaid, are eligible for a payment of $64,000 over five years. (for pediatricians, the required percentage of Medicaid patients is only 20%)
Medicare providers: Doctors who accept Medicare patients (even if they do not accept Medicaid) can receive payment of up to $44,000 over five years.
Since the incentive is for five years, if the doctor stops using the EMR, they can face significant penalties.
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