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.

*To stay informed of the most current information on the EHR Incentive program please sign up for the CMS listserve-click link below

This is the most reliable way to receive information directly from CMS to your inbox

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.

How to get your EHR Incentive Program Payments

Start by clicking your status below:

  • Plan Ahead
    Review important dates for the EHR Incentive Programs on the HIT Timeline

News Updates

  • We would like to thank everyone for their patience with the delay in getting the payments out for applications that came in for program year 2013 during the extension period. The audit team is now in place and all 2013 applications are moving through. You will be contacted if there are any areas that require a resubmit.

News Updates

Eligible Professionals: EHR Hardship Exception Applications Due July 1, 2014

CMS and the State of Maine remind eligible professionals that the deadline to submit a hardship exception application is approaching. An interactive tool is available to help eligible professionals determine if they will avoid upcoming 2015 and 2016 Medicare EHR Incentive Program payment adjustments by demonstrating meaningful use, or if they should apply for a hardship exception.

If an eligible professional determines that they need to apply for a hardship exception, the application must be submitted by July 1, 2014. CMS will review applications to determine whether or not a hardship exception will be granted. If approved, the exception is valid for one year.

Applying for Hardship Exception
When submitting hardship exception applications, entries must include supporting documentation that proves demonstrating meaningful use presented significant hardship.

Click below for the Hardship Exception application; if you have more than one provider you are applying for please be sure to fill in the area on application for groups and then list EP's on the multiple provider sheet.

Eligible professionals Application

Eligible professionals submitting multiple National Provider Identifiers (NPIs) (this sheet must accompany the application when more than one provider is applying for the hardship exception)

Please read and follow the submission instructions on the application. Note that all required supporting documentation must be included at the time of submission. Completing your application online and submitting it electronically to, with all required supporting documentation, will reduce the application processing time. Please do not submit hand-written applications.

Hardship Exception Tip sheets

Click here for the tip sheet for providers

More information is available on the CMS website.

What's New for Stage 1 in 2014

Stage 1 Changes Beginning in 2014 for Eligible Professionals

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

The Stage 2 rule for meaningful use included changes to Stage 1 requirements that took effect on January 1, 2014.

Changes in 2014 include:

  • 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.
  • Core Measure #8 -Record and Chart Changes in Vital Signs
    Change: The age limit increased for recording blood pressure in patients from age 2 to age 3;there is no age limit for height and weight. 2014 Measure: For more than 50 percent of all unique patients seen by the eligible professional during the EHR reporting period, blood pressure (for patients age 3 and over only) and height and weight (for all ages) should be recorded as structured data.
  • Patient Electronic Access
    Change: Menu objective “Timely electronic access to health information” and core objective “Electronic copy of health information” are combined to “View online, download, and transmit” core objective. This is the patient portal documentation that needs to be implemented for 2014.
    • Measure: More than 50 percent of all unique patients seen by the eligible professional during the EHR reporting period are provided timely (available to the patient within 4 business days after the information is available to the eligible professional) online access to their health information.
  • 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

We have some great 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 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.
  • Please refer to the documents below to set up the test submission with the State of Maine ImmPact System.
  • Stage 1 Public Health Instructions (.pdf*)
  • CDC Data-Exchange-Survey (.pdf*)
  • After you complete the survey and obtain your credentials you will use the next document to complete the test submission:
  • PHC hub_instructions (.pdf*)



Stage 2 EHR Incentive Program Resources

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


These two document lists all measures for Stage 2.

Additional recommendations:

2014_CQM CMS-Adult Recommend_Core Set Table (.pdf*)

2014_CQM_CMS-Pediatric Recommended_Core Set Table (.pdf*)

CQM_Resource Table_2014 (.pdf*)

EHR Program_Supporting Documentation-Audits (.pdf*)

EP_Multiple Locations Tip Sheet (.pdf*)

2014 Guide to creating a Certification ID number and How to Update Info in the Registration (.pdf*)

How to Make Changes or Updates to Provider Information on the CMS Registration Site (.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 all the Maine Public Health registries that apply to your practice

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 spec 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 all 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.

Medicare Payment Adjustments

Please note: the deadline to submit an application for a hardship exception is July 1, 2014
If you are not sure you will be able to MU for the first time in 2014 we encourage you to apply for the hardship exception.

Payment adjustments will be applied beginning January 1, 2015, if you have not successfully demonstrated meaningful use.

The adjustment is determined by the look back of two years. If a provider meets MU in 2013 they will not recieve an adjustment in 2015.

For any provider that is meeting MU for the first time they can attest prior to October 1, 2014 and avoid the 2015 and the 2016 payment adjustments..

For more information please review the payment adjustment tipsheet.

If you are eligible to participate in both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, you MUST demonstrate meaningful use to avoid the payment adjustments.

You may demonstrate meaningful use under either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Providers that are subject to the payment adjustment include MD, DO and Dentist that bill Medicare and are eligible to participate in the EHR Incentive Program

Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives and Physician Assistants are only eligible to participate in the Medicaid EHR incentive program

and are not subject to the Medicare payment adjustment; also, MD and DOs that work in FQHC are not subject to the Medicare payment adjustment if the FQHCdoes not bill Medicare part B.

Application for EP to avoid the 2015 Medicare payment adjustments.Hardship Exception Application for Professional(.pdf)


CMS Releases a new hardship exception related to the inability to upgrade to a 2014 Certified version of software

  • If you are an eligible professional, a hospital or a critical access hospital (CAH), and you are unable to implement EHR Technology certified to the 2014 edition certification criteria in time to successfully demonstrate meaningful use for the 2014 reporting year, you may be eligible for a hardship exception from the applicable Medicare payment adjustments. Please click on the guide below for more information. The applications above for Professionals or Hospitals will be used for the Hardship Exception.

New for 2014

  • The start of Stage 2 for EPs who have already completed at 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 everything approved prior to October 1, 2014 to avoid the Medicare payment adjustments
  • 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
  • All EHR software must be upgraded to 2014 Certified EHR technology.
  • Contact your EHR vendor to find out when your 2014 version will be available and if there is any cost involved
  • 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.






  • 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 system accounts and should not be linked (by email) to an organization. Please be sure that the email you list for your I&A account is one that you will be able to receive and respond to
  • For the EHR Incentive Program email this should still be a person that is responsible for submitting your application and can respond to our communications
  • 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 Materials

Additional HIT web pages

Maine's Approved State Medicaid Health Plan and Implementation Plan


E-mail the EHR Help Desk your questions!