Reassignment of Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Payments: Is Your Medical Practice Covered?
March 15, 2012
The HITECH Act and the related rules do not provide for automatic payment of the EHR incentive payments to an Eligible Professional’s medical practice (including a medical practice affiliated with a hospital) or other entity which bills for the Eligible Professional’s services. However, the HITECH Act and the related rules do permit (but do not require) Eligible Professionals to reassign their right to receive the EHR incentive payments to an employer or other entity with which they have a contractual arrangement allowing the entity to bill for the services of the Eligible Professionals.4 This reassignment must be consistent with the general rules governing reassignment of Medicare and Medicaid payments. As a result, medical practices, medical practice foundations, community clinics and hospital outpatient clinics that bill for their Eligible Professionals’ services may receive the EHR incentive payments, provided that these organizations have taken appropriate steps to ensure receipt of such payments.
Most contracts between a medical practice and each of its Eligible Professionals already contain reassignment language that pertains to monies received from professional services, as well as, in most cases, remuneration earned from medically-related activities. However, it is prudent to amend the relevant contractual provisions to expressly state that the Eligible Professional is reassigning to the medical practice his or her right to receive any payments made in connection with the Eligible Professional’s participation in the EHR incentive programs. In addition, the contractual provision should require the Eligible Professional to provide the medical practice’s taxpayer identification number at the time of the Eligible Professional’s registration for the EHR incentive program and to take any other steps that may be necessary to ensure that the medical practice receives the payments.
A medical practice should take these affirmative steps to ensure that it receives the payments from the EHR incentive programs as a result of its adoption, implementation, and/or upgrading, or the meaningful use by its individual health care providers, of its health information technology systems.
If you have any questions concerning the issues raised in this alert, please contact the authors of this alert Jodi Knox or Jill Girardeau or any of our Health Care attorneys.
For a printer friendly link to this alert, please click here.
Womble Carlyle client alerts are intended to provide general information about significant legal developments and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances, nor should they be construed as advertisements for legal services.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice within this client alert is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in a client alert.