Hewlett-Packard Awarded CMS Contract to Ensure Physician Incentive Payments
It was reported in October 2010 that Hewlett-Packard (HP) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had entered into a contract that called for HP to maintain CMS’s Integrated Data Repository (IDR) and thereby provide data quality services that will improve the accuracy of CMS payments. This should certainly prove to be very good news for any medical provider that depends on CMS reimbursements as part of their steady influx of revenue. Further, if a medical office is hoping to garner the federal government’s $44,000 electronic medical record incentive funding then this is very good news.
A component of the 2009 economic stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama is the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. This Act serves as the genesis for the move for HP to partner with CMS in an effort to manage the following:
- Provide quality analysis of data loaded into the IDR.
- Maintain the existing production IDR database environment so it runs at expected performance and availability levels.
- Provide CMS with guidance and recommendations on maintaining and improving data quality services.
- Create automated processes to ensure that all data feeds used to populate the IDR are loaded accurately and on time.
- Adhere to CMS database standards while establishing and performing database backup and recovery procedures.
- Merge physical data models from separate repositories into a single, integrated data model.
At $26 million this is a substantial contract for the publicly traded HP, which has been in business since the 1930s. However, the federal government expects a significant return on investment with the contract. This contract was initiated in part to make certain that the criteria for electronic medical record incentive payments for Meaningful Use is strictly adhered to and that only those practitioners that comply will be paid. By working collaboratively with HP, the federal government plans for the HITECH Act and resulting incentive payments to be an expeditious and accurate process whereby physician get all of their money in a quick fashion.
Again, this is great news for the average physician hoping to see all of their hard work towards meaningful use of EMR to be rewarded with the aforementioned $44,000 incentive funding.