The Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care’s (AFMC) grant to provide federally subsidized services to providers as the state’s Regional Extension Center has ended. However, through a new contract with Arkansas Medicaid, the same level of expert technical assistance to achieve and sustain Meaningful Use (MU) will continue to be available to Medicaid eligible Arkansas health care professionals, including specialists who previously did not qualify to receive subsidized services.

Additionally, AFMC will provide services that include MU attestation assistance and security risk analyses for up to 25 critical access and rural hospitals.

Under the terms of the Medicaid contract, AFMC HealthIT (previously called HITArkansas) will offer MU services to Medicaid eligible professionals (EPs), as established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines. Eligible professionals include:

  • MDs and DOs (including specialists)
  • Dentists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Certified nurse midwives
  • Physician assistants

Services offered under the new contract include:

  • Education on MU and electronic health record (EHR) incentives
  • Assistance achieving progress toward MU and sustaining MU to avoid penalties
  • Vendor selection, management and other vendor issues
  • Project management
  • Workflow design
  • Functional interoperability and health information exchange training
  • HIPAA security risk analysis
  • Complimentary educational webinars
  • Timely updates from Medicaid and CMS
  • Medicaid volume calculation assistance
  • Patient engagement strategies
  • Patient portal implementation strategies
  • Electronic exchange of care transition documents
  • Attestation and audit preparation

2015 marks the fifth year of MU program initiatives. Designed to encourage providers to collect data in a structured format, MU has made great inroads in creating the infrastructure needed for health care data exchange, outcomes analysis and quality improvement.

Providers who have successfully achieved MU can use data from their certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) to:

  • Engage in transformative initiatives
  • Identify and treat patients with chronic diseases
  • Incorporate preventive measures for high-risk patients
  • Prepare for practice transformation and value-based payment models

MU has the potential to help achieve the triple aim of improving patients’ experience of care, improving Arkansans’ health and reducing the per-capita cost of health care.

Regardless of a provider’s MU status, Medicaid EPs are encouraged to take advantage of AFMC’s no-cost technical assistance. There is still time to earn the maximum incentive payment of $63,750 by becoming a meaningful user of certified EHR technology. 2016 is the final year to begin participation in the Medicaid EHR incentive program and earn the maximum payment. Medicaid’s EHR incentives payments are available through 2021.

For additional information about AFMC Health IT service offerings, visit the new AFMC HealthIT website at www.afmc.org/healthit or contact the HealthIT team at 501-212-8616.