The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced on April 18 that Louisiana is the first state in the nation to issue a Meaningful Use Year Two EHR incentive payment to a Medicaid eligible professional (EP).
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals made the payment to the Winn Community Health Center (CHC), a federally qualified health center (FQHC), on behalf of three EPs. Winn CHC – staffed by a physician, a nurse practitioner and a physician’s assistant – is a NCQA Level 3 patient-centered medical home that provides care to residents of Winnfield, La., and the surrounding community. Winn CHC currently serves 8,000 unique patients and averages 1,300 monthly patient encounters.
Winn CHC was the first FQHC to receive an incentive payment during the first phase of the EHR Incentive program. It was also the first FQHC in Louisiana to enroll with the state health information exchange.
Through the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, EPs and eligible hospitals can receive a payment during their first year of participation for adopting, implementing, or upgrading to certified EHR technology. They must demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology in ways that can be measured significantly in both quality and in quantity to receive continued payments after their first year. Medicaid EPs can earn a total of $63,000 over six years.
Winn CHC uses the SuccessEHS EHR.
"When you surround yourself with good people, good things happen," said Deano Thornton, CEO for Winn CHC, in a prepared statement. "I have a great staff here at the clinic, and we've had tremendous support from the Louisiana Primary Care Association, the State of Louisiana, the Department of Health and Hospitals, the Louisiana Health Information Technology Resource Center and the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum. The SuccessEHS team also worked hard to help our providers capture the data we needed to meet Meaningful Use requirements."