EPs face Oct. 3 deadline to start 90-day reporting period

Eligible professionals (EPs) who haven't already circled Oct. 3 on their office calendar should do so now. That is the final day for EPs to begin their 90-day reporting period for calendar year (CY) 2012 under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

EPs must complete a consecutive 90-day reporting period in order to attest to meeting meaningful use and become eligible to receive an incentive payment for CY 2012 under the CMS program.

Oct. 3 is also the last day upon which Medicare EPs can qualify to receive the maximum possible Medicare incentive payment ($44,000 per EP), according the CMS. If first-year Medicare EPs have not started their 90-day reporting period by October 3, they will not be eligible for a CY 2012 payment, and can only receive $39,000 in Medicare incentives if they successfully participate in 2013.

CMS provides more information on how incentive payments are distributed on the EHR Basics page of its recently updated website.

EPs who have already completed their reporting period may want to access CMS tools to help prepare for attestation, including the Meaningful Use Attestation Calculator and the Attestation User Guide for Eligible Professionals.

Other important dates related to the EHR Incentive Program can be viewed on CMS' Health Information Technology Timeline.