EHR Incentive Program Registration Instructions

Registration opens today for the EHR Incentive Program.  The process is not so easy as one would like.  Here's an overview for how to register as an Eligible Provider.

  1. Go to the Registration Program's login page.
  2. You need a login.  This is your NPPES login.  Oh?  You don't have one?  Neither did I.  
  3.  I do have an NPI.  So do most EPs.  If you have an NPI – you can create an NPPES login here.  If you don't have an NPI – you will need to apply for one here.
  4. OK .. go back to the login page (link in #1 above) and log in.
  5. Click on "registration"  (the tab at the top) and scroll down to the bottom.  Your name is listed and at the bottom-right is hyperlink:  "Register."  Click that.
  6. Click through to the page that is going to stop most providers in their tracks.  There are several questions:  First – you need to select whether you are participating in the Medicare or the Medicaid program.  You should know.  Most providers will choose Medicare.  This next part is counter-intuitive:  you need to select the radio button - and then click "apply."  It's terrible design.  What does "APPLY" mean?  Regstep5_2Am I applying for the program?  No.  In this case – what I THINK the web designers meant was that you are APPLYing your selection of the radio button.  When you choose "Medicaid" – a drop-down list appears so that you can choose your state.  Only a handful of states have competed their paperwork – so only a handful of state Medicaid programs are open for registration.  If you plan to register for the Medicaid program in one of the states not listed here, you need to wait days, weeks or months until the program is active.  There is a link to this page (ugh! pdf – more bad web design – here's a non pdf version) that lists the state programs and their expected ETA.  Don't know which program you qualify for?  Use this nice wizard to figure it out.
  7. Once you select the program – you are asked whether you have a certified EHR – and if so, what the certification number is of that product.  This is an OPTIONAL question.  I assume that's because some products are not fully certified yet – or because in many scenarios – one needn't even have an EHR yet.  This is just registration for the program.  Note that this page requests a certification NUMBER but in fact – what they want is a "YOUR CERTIFICATION ID" – and NOT the "Certification # of the product.  Yes – this is confusing.
  8. This page directs you to the CMS website here.  But that's not the right place to go.  What you need is the CHPL – the Certified Health IT Product List.  To create your certification ID (you don't really need this – recall that it's optional)  .. go to the CHPL here .. then browse the list or search for your vendor(s).  The second column is the PRODUCT's certification #.  Not what you want.  If you have one complete EHR – click on "add to cart" and follow step #9 below.  If you have several modules – add all of them to the cart.
  9. At the top of the page – you will see a link to your "shopping cart."  Click on that link.  Now you see your list of modules.  You need 100% Certified EHR technology – so if you have modules that don't make you "complete" – you won't be able to create a certification ID.  Have 100%?  Great.  Now click.  There is your certification ID.  That's what goes in the optional field on the EHR Incentives registration page.  Let's hope they fix this soon so that it's more clear.

I didn't get past this page – (yet) as my state isn't one of the active ones – and I will apply for the Medicaid program.  If you got past this screen – please let me know if you encounter anything challenging.