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Meaningful Use Timelines

Eligible professionals (EPs) have several potential pathways for pursuing meaningful use (MU) and becoming meaningful users across the eleven years of the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program (2011-2021). EPs can begin the program as late as 2016, and the six years for which providers can participate and earn an incentive payment can be non-consecutive. Additionally, an EP has no obligation to continue in the program once an incentive payment has been earned, but all EPs are encouraged to be meaningful users because informed and relevant use of EHRs contributes to the quality of health care.

To begin planning which pathway may be best for you and your practice, ask two questions.

What year did I begin the program/What year do I plan to begin the program by adopting, implementing, or upgrading (AIU) certified EHR technology? The answer to this question points EPs toward their set of timelines. Each timeline is labeled with the year of first program participation, and the options for that cohort are illustrated below.

Do I plan on skipping any years and resuming participation at a later date? EPs facing challenges meeting meaningful use or upgrading their certified EHR technology should consider this option rather than dropping out of the program altogether. If the answer is yes, check out the expanded timelines for your cohort.

Choose your cohort below, and view the standard and expanded timelines:

These timelines for the 2011 cohort reflect options for those who earned an incentive payment for AIU in 2011.

These timelines for the 2012 cohort reflect options for those who earned an incentive payment for AIU in 2012.

These timelines for the 2013 cohort reflect options for those who earn a first incentive payment in 2013. The opportunity to earn the first incentive payment for AIU or for 90 days of Stage 1 Meaningful Use was initiated in 2013.

These timelines for the 2014 cohort reflect options for those who earn a first incentive payment in 2014.

EPs may begin the program as late as 2016, but timelines are not yet available for pathways beginning in 2015 onward.