The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued answers to three frequently asked questions about changes to the Medicaid electronic health records meaningful use incentive program under Stage 2. The changes cover determination of patient volume calculations that are intended to ease eligibility requirements, the types of CHIP patients eligible to be considered in Medicaid patient volume, and changes to the base year for hospital incentive payment calculation. Here are the questions and answers:

Question: The EHR Incentive Programs Stage 1 Rule stated that, in order for a Medicaid encounter to count towards the patient volume of an eligible provider, Medicaid had to either pay for all or part of the service, or pay all or part of the premium, deductible or coinsurance for that encounter.  The Stage 2 Rule now states that the Medicaid encounter can be counted towards patient volume if the patient is enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program (either through the state’s fee-for-service programs or the state’s Medicaid managed care programs) at the time of service without the requirement of Medicaid payment liability. How will this change affect patient volume calculations for Medicaid eligible providers?

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