I meet physician friends all the time and hear that they have been on EMR for the last couple of years. However they were unable to receive a stimulus check of $18,000 for the first year. Its absolutely fair to say that they are totally depending upon the EHR Software support which are is designed to help you if something breaks but not to tell you how to work around it to get into the meaningful use category and collect your refunds from Medicare. Every certified EHR has the same standard reports or measures, which tells you whether you are working in the right direction toward being certified or attested. Stage 1 is very basic criteria and any Physician who possesses basic computer skills such as checking email and writing letters can easily learn those tricks and logic behind those meaningful measures very well. So that’s the easy part. The challenging part is to go through the online application process of Medicare attestation and for that we depend either on our billing company or in house billers. Some of the EHR companies do provide training or logistic support but ultimately what matters is your own understanding and interpretation of those stage one measures. Therefore, the big question is how we can do EHR Attestation in simple steps by ourselves.
NPI Username and PasswordYou will need your NPI login user name and password to accomplish this daunting task. You can get this by calling NPI Enumerator at the following telephone number; 1-800-465-3203. Talk to the customer service and tell them that you are a physician. Remember they will not talk to your staff unless they are authorized to do so. So make a call by yourself and ask them to reset your password, this is half the battle itself.
Pecos Enrollment: Pecos is the national database of your Medicare credentialing, once you have the user name and password, you can go to the Medicare Pecos website (https://pecos.cms.hhs.gov) to check if you are already enrolled with current Medicare Pecos system. If you can find your name and NPI information listed under the my enrollment tab, that means your Pecos enrollment is valid and active. Remember Medicare has developed a national database of physicians, which is called Pecos so every 5 years you have to revalidate or credential yourself with Medicare system.
EHR Incentive Website
This is the 3rd step of going to the another website to register yourself for EHR stimulus refunds which is available on https://ehrincentives.cms.gov , Hey remember the user name and password remain the same in all three websites, so keep it handy all the time that’s the master key to opening all of Medicare online doors.
Registration for Attestation: Once you login into this website you will have to do initial registration for the year you are attesting with the Medicare system. You should check the payee information very carefully because in some cases the payee listed might be your old group or previous employer so the chances are that they are paid for your EHR attestation. You have to be very alert and informed at this point of time. Although the instructions on the website are not very clear on how to fix the issue if this is the case. If you see that the payee information is not correct and Medicare is not showing your current updated information here, stop then and there and do not register yourself, that means that the Pecos registration (Go back to Step 2) is not complete, you need to revalidate your Medicare enrollment first and check your reassignments of benefits. For those who do not know what is reassignment of benefits is, I will explain. Reassignment of benefits in Medicare system links you with the correct group under which your Medicare benefits are paid. If you have questions about that then the best source to satisfy your query will be local Medicare contractor. Florida Medicare Carrier is FCSO and there no is 866-454-9007.
Meaningful Use Attestation
This is little bit lengthy but a simple task. All you need to know is the accurate EHR data from your software. There are some simple choices in stage 1 which basically allows you to bypass certain measures which you might not be doing like distributing clinical visit summary to 30% of your Medicare patients. This is a common complaint. Most of the physician offices do not print and give visit summaries to the patients. In this case you can bypass the question by marking that your patients do not ask for it. Similarly, there are a few more choices, which can be bypassed, and you can pick the simple things or measures that were adopted by you in the last 90 days of your data. One more common complaint is that keeping a written record of patient reminders like recall letters or sending written appointment reminder letters. If you are not doing it then you can bypass it. Again my advice is to read the choices carefully and then answer the questions.
if you are able to answer all the questions successfully you can submit the information online. After every step the system will tell you whether you are qualified to submit the application or not? If you made a mistake it will return your submission instantly.
Locked for Payment
If you are successful in your submission Medicare will release the payment within 90 days. The system also shows the status for your payment so if payment is due it will show that it is “locked for payment”.
If you are unable to complete the attestation by yourself and need help you can contact a website which provides turn key application attestation for you www.medicarepecos.com , you have to just supply them the EHR Data and NPI user name and password. They will do it all.