Do you have incentive program confusion? If the answer is “Yes,” then you’re not alone. There are too many incentive programs, and the rules are changing too quickly for the average provider to keep up with them. One may ask, “Too many incentive programs — how can that be bad for providers?” Well, there are two reasons. The first is that incentive programs are not really just incentive programs; they are really the old carrot and the stick, incentive and penalty programs. Secondly, too many incentive programs create confusion in the marketplace and can paralyze providers rather than mobilize them.

Incentive and penalty programs come in all flavors. Some are sponsored by private insurance companies, others by certification organizations, and the most prominent are sponsored by the government.

Let’s focus on the government programs. The three main government incentive programs are:

  1. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (requires “meaningful use” of a certified EHR like MediTouch EHR®
  2. The Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program
  3. The Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI)

Our site has dedicated several blog posts to the EHR incentive programs and that will be a recurring theme on our site for years to come. In the next few weeks, we will blog on the other government programs. In fact, our next post will provide detail about the eRx incentive program and explore the incentives and penalties associated with that program.

Remember, don’t let incentive program confusion paralyze your practice. Instead, focus on the EHR incentive programs… Why? There are 44,000 to 64,000 very good reasons, more than any other incentive program!