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Medicaid vs. Medicare EHR Incentive Program – How to Choose

April 24, 2013


The US Government provides a convenient PowerPoint tool for deciding on applying for Medicaid or Medicare EHR Incentives.  You will need to have PowerPoint or a Power Point viewer to access this interactive presentation. Looking at the presentation, you find out that it’s possible for applicants to be qualified for both Medicaid and Medicare incentives. However you can choose to receive only one. Practitioners qualifying for both will receive a higher incentive payment when they select the Medicaid EHR incentive program.

If you are not clear on some of the data presented in the EHR tool, you can find most of the answers you are looking for in the Government’s Comprehensive publication, EHR Incentive Programs.

Eligibility Tool

To see if you are eligible open the presentation and answer some simple questions about:

  • The percentage of hospital services you provide
  • The percentage of Medicaid services you provide to patients
  • The type of practitioner you are

While you are not required to have an EHR system in order to register for the either the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, you must be able to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology during the 90 day reporting period.

Incentive Payments

Medicare EHR Incentive Program

medicare ehr incentive program


Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

medicaid ehr incentive program chart                                                                                         

EHR Incentive Programs provide incentive payments to eligible providers including professionals, hospitals and critical access hospitals as they implement or upgrade EHR technology. Professionals can receive a maximum of $44,000 through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. The Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program pays a maximum of $63,750. You can register now.

Additional Incentive amounts

Medicare eligible professionals who focus on services in a Health Professional Shortage Area will receive a 10 percent increase in incentive payments. Medicaid EHR Incentive Program participants are not eligible.

Penalties for non-compliance

Starting in 2015, Medicare eligible professionals who do not demonstrate meaningful use of EHR technology may receive negative adjustments to their incentive payments. Starting at one percent, the reduction amount increases one percent each year that there is no meaningful use, until reaching five percent.


When you participate in either the Medicaid or Medicare EHR Incentive program, you receive incentive funds to use Electronic Health Records Technology in a meaningful way. You are obligating yourself to obtain the hardware, software and services necessary to implement an effective system in your practice. The criteria for qualifying for Medicaid vs. Medicare programs are quite different, and which type of program you can participate in will be frequently be decided for you. For providers qualifying for both programs, you may choose Medicaid because it is the highest paying or you may choose Medicare because of area demographics.

EHR Programs are encouraged by the federal government and can save a great deal of time by making medical record handling a fast and effective process. Electronic medical health records benefit patients because their information is immediately accessible.

The EHRCR Functional Profile Project is working towards major clinical research objectives. Two of the key project goals are:

  • Use of source data from EHR records to validate claims regarding the efficacy and safety of new medical products.
  • Expanding EHR systems so that they can support clinical research processes so that new therapies can to be available to patients as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

Using EHR helps you run your practice effectively, protects your patients by providing ready access to their data and can contribute to important research. On top of that you can receive a substantial incentive.




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