MaineCare Health Information Technology Meaningful Use Program

EHR Incentive Programs ? A program of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

What is the HIT Incentive/ Meaningful Use Program?

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program External site disclaimer was created by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). CMS will administer the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and State Medicaid agencies will administer the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

The program pays 100% federally funded incentives to eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals (EHs) for adopting, implementing, upgrading and demonstrating meaningful use of certified EHR technology.EPs may be eligible to receive up to $63,750. Payments for EHs are hospital-specific. Maine hospitals are eligible to receive an average of $750,000.

***CMS EHR Incentive Program Listserve***

Click this link to sign up for the EHR Incentive Programs listserv for program updates and new resources

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs listserv provides timely, authoritative information about the programs, including registration and attestation updates and details about the payment process. The listserv messages are another CMS resource to provide you with the latest news about the Incentive Programs. On average, two messages are sent per week. This is the most reliable way to receive information directly from CMS to your inbox

***Reminder to all Providers***

Please be sure that all providers log into their accounts on the I&A site to update their information and passwords as required

How to receive your EHR Incentive Program Payments

Start by clicking your status below:


HIT Timeline for Incentive Program

    • Review important dates for the EHR Incentive Programs on the HIT Timeline
    • The timelines listed for the Medicare program correspond closely to the Medicaid program.
    • Please contact us at: DHHS, EhrHelpdesk if you have questions

New Information for Program Year 2014

  • The start of Stage 2 for EPs who have already completed two years of Stage 1
  • All Meaningful Use reporting periods for 2014 will be a 90 day period
  • If 2014 is your first year demonstrating meaningful use you must have all documentation submitted and attested to before October 1, 2014 to avoid the Medicare payment adjustments. The EPs that are subject to the Medicare payment adjustments are: MD's, DO's and Dentist that bill Medicare part B that did not meet MU in 2013 or do not submit before October 1, 2014. Click here for more information regarding the Medicare Payment Adjustment.
  • If you have previously submitted Meaningful Use in 2011, 2012 or 2013 you can select any 90-day reporting period that falls within the 2014 calendar year for the 2014 MU reporting period.
  • All EHR software must be upgraded to 2014 Certified EHR technology; see message below for new information.
  • From FAQ # 2903 ( Starting in 2014 for both Stage 1 and Stage 2, meeting the exclusion criteria will no longer count as reporting a meaningful use objective from the menu set. An EP must meet the measure criteria for 5 objectives in Stage 1 (3 objectives in Stage 2) or report on all of the menu set objectives through a combination of meeting exclusion and meeting the measure.
  • The Medicaid Eligibility worksheet has been updated for 2014. Please use this worksheet: 2014 Medicaid Eligibility Worksheet (.xls*)

**********************News Updates | August 22, 2014*************************

How to meet Stage 2 - core measure #15 (#3 of 3)

    Now Available: Provider User Guide for NIST EHR Randomizer Tool

    Are you a provider in Stage 2 of meaningful use who needs help meeting measure #3 of the Transitions of Care (core #15) objective? If so, CMS and ONC encourage you to use a new provider user guide that outlines instructions on how to use the NIST EHR Randomizer, including:

      • Required information
      • Steps to register
      • Guidance on how to perform the test

    The guide walks providers through every step of the Randomizer—from registration to completion of the test.

    About the NIST EHR Randomizer
    The Randomizer tool enables providers to exchange data with a Test EHR in order to meet measure #3 of the Stage 2 Transitions of Care (core #15) objective.

    Once registered, the tool pairs a provider’s EHR technology with a different test EHR from the list of authorized systems. The provider must then send a Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture summary of care record to the Test EHR.

    Providers will receive an email with notification of success or failure that can be used as proof of meeting the measure.

    Transitions of Care Core # 15 Objective in Stage 2
    The Stage 2 Transitions of Care (core #15) objective for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals includes three measures. #3 is outlined below:

      • Conduct one or more successful electronic exchanges of a summary of care document, as part of which is counted in “measure 2” with a recipient who has EHR technology that was developed by a different EHR technology developer than the sender’s, or
      • Conduct one or more successful tests with the CMS designated test EHR during the EHR reporting period.

    More Information
    For more information about the Stage 2 Transitions of Care objective and other Stage 2 requirements, visit the CMS Stage 2 of Meaningful Use webpage.

***CMS Proposed Rule Change for 2014***

2014 CEHRT Flexibility
In May 2014, CMS released an NPRM that would grant flexibility to providers who are experiencing difficulties fully implementing 2014 Edition CEHRT to attest this year.

The proposal required a 60 day period for comments and that ended on July 21, 2014. If the proposal is accepted the following options will be available for providers that apply for Program Year 2014:

1. Providers scheduled to demonstrate Stage 2 of meaningful use in 2014 can choose from the following options:

2. Providers that are scheduled to demonstrate Stage 1 of meaningful use in 2014 can choose from the following options:

3. Providers that apply for AIU in 2014 must be on 2014 CEHRT (there is no MU submission for AIU; AIU does not meet any requirement an EP has that must submit MU) An EP in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program can choose to submit either AIU or Stage 1 (year 1) MU for the first year of participation.

Below is a diagram of the choices that will be available if the NPRM passes:

2014 EHR Incentive Program options
AIU-2014 Stage 1 2014 Stage 2 2014
Medicaid Eligibility requirement Any 90 days from the previous calendar year (2013) or a 90 day period prior to the submission of application for 2014 Any 90 days from the previous calendar year (2013) or a 90 day period prior to the submission of application for 2014 Any 90 days from the previous calendar year (2013) or a 90 day period prior to the submission of application for 2014
MU Reporting period No Mu reporting required 90 day reporting period 90 day reporting period
EHR Certification Edition Year Must be a 2014 edition certified
version of software
2011 Certified Edition Software 2014 Certified Edition Software 2011 Certified Edition Software 2014 Certified Edition Software
MU definition criteria to report No Mu reporting required 2013 Definition Stage 1 objectives and 2013 CQMs 2014 Definition Stage 1 objectives and 2014 CQMs 2013 Definition Stage 1 objectives and 2013 CQMs

this would be a third year of Stage 1 and is only allowed for 2014
2014 Definition Stage 2 objectives and 2014 CQMs

Changes for the 2014 definition year Stage 1 measures include:

Click here for a pdf of the 2014 definition changes: 2014 Stage 1 Changes Tipsheet

  • The Stage 2 rule for meaningful use included changes to Stage 1 (2014 definition) requirements that took effect on January 1, 2014.
    • The number of Core measures for Stage 1 are now 13
    • The number of Menu measures for Stage 1 are now 9
    • Exclusions chosen for menu measures will not count toward the number of required menu measures. If you must exclude from a menu measure you will need to meet other measures to total the required number. If you cannot meet the required number of menu measures you can select all menu measures and pass by meeting those measures you meet and excluding from those measure you are eligible to exclude from.
    • Patient Electronic Access - New EP Objective: Provide patients the ability to view online, download and transmit their health information
      within 4 business days of the information being available to the eligible professional.
      Change: Addition of new core objective to provide patients with ability to view online,
      download, and transmit health information for all providers
      Timing/Compliance: Added for 2014 and beyond
      What It Means: To better align Stage 1 objectives with the new 2014 capabilities of
      Certified EHR Technology, several Stage 1 objectives for providing electronic copies of
      and electronic access to health information have been replaced with objectives to provide
      patients the ability to view, download, or transmit their health information or hospital
      admission information online
    • Record and Chart Changes in Vital Signs
      Change: Increase in age limit for recording blood pressure in patients to age 3; removal
      of age limit requirement for height and weight
      Timing/Compliance: Required in 2014 and beyond
      What It Means: In 2014, all providers must report using the new age limits below
    • Record and Chart Changes in Vital Signs
      Change: Exclusion for eligible professionals: if they see no patients 3 years or older; if
      all three vital signs are not relevant to their scope of practice; if height and weight are not
      relevant to their scope of practice; or if blood pressure is not relevant to their scope of
      Timing/Compliance: Replaces prior exclusion criteria starting in 2014
      What It Means: Previously, eligible professionals could only exclude this objective if all
      three vital signs were not relevant to their scope of practice or if they saw no patients 3 years
      or older. Beginning in 2014, eligible professionals can be excluded from recording blood
      pressure if blood pressure is not relevant to their scope of practice, or from recording height
      and weight if both height and weight are not relevant to their scope of practice
    • Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) Reporting
      Reporting CQMs is still required, but the core measure that asked if you would be submitting CQMs has been removed

Stage 1 Resources
Visit the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs. To receive CMS communications directly sign up for the CMS listserve at the top of this webpage.

Below are some useful resources listed here for your convenience:

Stage 1 - Public Health Measure - Immunization registry test submission

  • The Maine CDC program is able to accept test submissions for Stage I MU. Please look at the information regarding (menu measure #8- 2014 definition, menu measure #9 - 2013 definition) test submission to schedule your test as soon as possible. Maine CDC expects up to a 30-60 day turnaround time to get your test completed.
  • The documents below are provided for your convience. These are necessary to set up the test submission with the State of Maine ImmPact System.
  • Public Health Registry_TipSheet (.pdf*)

***********************If you require documentation for your records of the time frame - (September 2012 through May 2013) - when the Maine Immunization program was not able to accept test submissions for Stage 1 and you took the exclusion based on that please contact Danielle Hall at*************************************************




Stage 2 Resources

The Stage 2 EHR Incentive Program Guide: Stage 2_Guide for_Eligible Providers (.pdf*)

Stage 2 - Public Health Measures

  • Maine CDC is currently not able to accept onboarding for the ongoing submissions for all public health measures.
  • To meet the measures you must register for the Maine Public Health registries that apply to your practice
  • This tip sheet will provider information regarding the Stage 2 PH requirements: Public Health Registry_TipSheet (.pdf*)
  • This instruction sheet will give your detailed information on registering: Stage 2 Public Health Instruction Sheet(.pdf*)
  • Click this link to go complete your Public Health registration
  • This affects Stage 2 only for core measure #16- ongoing submission to Immunization registry, menu measure #1-ongoing submission to Syndromic surveillence registry, menu measure #5-ongoing submission to Cancer registry
  • The registration meets this measure as indicated in the text included in the specification sheets from CMS as follows: "Registration of intent to initiate ongoing submission was made by the deadline and the EP or hospital is awaiting invitation to begin testing and validation".
  • After you register for the registries you will receive an email acknowledgement. Retain that for your documentation that you met the measure by registering your intent to submit ongoing submissions when the State of Maine is able to accept those submissions.
  • If your practice will not complete the onboarding process for any of the registries do not sign up for them. You will choose the exclusion for those measures as they do not apply to your type of practice. The registration process is the first step to establishing on going submissions for the various public health registries.


Hardship Exception Tip sheets

Click here for the tip sheet for providers More information is available on the CMS website

The date to apply for a hardship exception for the CY 2015 has passed. If you are a MD, DO or Dentist that bills Medicare part B and you did not submit MU in 2013 you must submit your first year of MU and the attestation statment prior to October 1, 2014 or you will receive a 1% reduction in payment for all Medicare claims submitted in CY 2015.


  • All providers must update their information in the PECOS/NPPES site - CMS has centralized all accounts to the I&A System for greater ease
  • If you have another person that works on your behalf in PECOS/NPPES or the EHR Incentive program you will need to set up an I&A identity for them
  • CMS has determined that each provider must have a unique email address for the I&A account and should not be linked (by email) to an organization.
  • Please be sure that the email you list in your EHR Incentive program registration is an email address that you or the person responsible for your application for the incentive program will be able to receive and respond to. For the EHR incentive program the email listed in the registration is the only way we have of contacting you. This email contact needs to be updated as needed.
  • We have put together a schematic guide that will help you to set up an I&A account for your PECOS/NPPES/EHR incentive program credentials - Please download this file for reference: I&A process (.pdf)
  • Please visit the I&A website for more information-
  • If the tools available on the I&A site do not provider what you need please contact the EUS: External User Services (EUS) Help Desk: 1-866-484-8049 or

Educational Resources:

Additional HIT web pages

Maine's Approved State Medicaid Health Plan and Implementation Plan


E-mail the EHR Help Desk your questions!