Now that most states have their Medicaid EHR Incentive Program in full swing we have gotten a glimpse of what they are requiring for attesting to “adopt, implement and upgrade” aka “AIU”. As described in the CMS rules themselves, practices need to show that they have some skin in the game and have actually invested in an EHR product. Many states are asking that an EP (or group practice) upload the actual EHR software contract (or a redacted version). Some states (such as California) are requesting a signed vendor statement in lieu of the full contract.
If you are a practice in the process of negotiating an EHR contract, you may want to consider including a provision in the contract specific to the AIU attestation requirements of the state your practice is in. For example, requiring in the contract itself that the software vendor execute any documents required by the state to attest to AIU or that the vendor provide a letter acknowledging the practice’s EHR license (if such a letter is acceptable in your state). Similar provisions are recommended in situations where the practice is involved with a Stark donation arrangement or other type of third party contract.
Setting expectations up front and creating a contractual obligation will help ensure that the software vendor or other third party contractor does not stand in the way of your practice receiving EHR incentive dollars.
For assistance in drafting and negotiating EHR software contracts or the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program in general please contact Elana Zana or Dave Schoolcraft.