e-Prescribing Medicare Penalties in 2012

Posted on April 26, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of my readers pointed me to an article talking about the potential Medicare penalties that will be enforced starting in 2012 to physicians who don’t use e-Prescribing. Here’s the relevant info:

As previously reported, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) authorizes incentive payments for eligible professionals who are successful e-prescribers. Under the MIPPA, the incentive payments are set at 2 percent for 2009 and 2010, 1 percent for 2011 and 2012, and 0.5 percent for 2013.

However, the MIPPA provides for a penalty to arise in 2012 for not successfully satisfying e-prescribing requirements. The penalty will be a percentage reduction in Medicare physician fee schedule payments equal to 1 percent for 2012, 1.5 percent for 2013, and 2 percent for 2014 and subsequent years.

It’s interesting to see these penalties. They’re almost as large as the penalties for not showing meaningful use of a certified EHR. Yet, I see so little discussion about these penalties. Is there a reason doctors aren’t worried as much about this as the EMR Stimulus Medicare penalties?

Also, it’s no wonder that many doctors are wondering whether they should continue to accept Medicare or not. First, the 21% Medicare cuts that have been floating out there. Second, the EMR stimulus medicare cuts. Now, the cuts for those that aren’t ePrescribing. Of course, all of these cuts are to the “insurance” that has in general the smallest reimbursement already. Are the insurance companies next to implement these cuts?