The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) authorizes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide reimbursement incentives for eligible professionals who are successful in becoming “meaningful users” of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. The law includes the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the "HITECH Act" which established programs under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). On July 13, 2010 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule on the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs under Medicare and Medicaid.
This Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Care Record (EHR) Incentive Program, commonly known as the Meaningful Use program, provides incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.
The program is divided into the following stages
The MU program is available for Medicare and Medicaid eligible professionals. Although the two programs are similar in many ways there are some key differences. Providers must either select Medicare or Medicaid, as they can only participate in one of the programs. This is discussed in detail in the eligibility section.