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American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Practice Management & Allied Staff News & Materials

CMS develops new EHR Incentive for Health Professional Shortage Areas

April 15th, 2011

CMS has developed a new EHR Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Modifier -AZ (Physician providing a service in a Dental health professional shortage area for the purpose of an Electronic Health Record Incentive Payment) which will allow eligible professionals (EP) to report claims rendered in a dental HPSA when the ZIP code does not fully fall within that dental HPSA.

An EP who furnishes services predominately in a HPSA is eligible for a 10 percent increase in the maximum Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive payment amount, regardless of the type of HPSA in which the services were rendered. This means that any EP can perform services in any type of HPSA (primary care, mental health, or dental) and receive the increase in the maximum EHR HPSA incentive payment amount, as long as 50 percent or more of his/her services are performed in a HPSA.

In order to allow EPs to report claims rendered in a dental HPSA when the ZIP code does not fully fall within that dental HPSA, EPs must use the new EHR HPSA modifier, -AZ which is effective for dates of service on or after January 1, 2011. The new modifier will not affect the payment or calculation of the FFS geographic quarterly HPSA bonus. However, before using the modifier -AZ, be certain that your EHR meets all meaningful use criteria required for earning the EHR incentive. For more information visit the CMS website.