A doctor putting money in his pocket


April 15, 2014

Meaningful use just might have its financial perks. That’s according to the top 25 highest performing meaningful users under the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, all of whom brought in some $171 million in Medicare payments back in 2012.

What’s more, each was paid more than $5 million in Medicare reimbursements, said Steven Posnack, director of the federal policy division in the office of the national coordinator for health IT, in an April 12 Visualize Regulations blog.

“Like a bee to honey, I – like many of my fellow policy wonks and data geeks – couldn’t resist the sweetness of a data set this rich,” Posnack wrote.

Posnack made his calculations by combining data from last week’s federal release of Medicare physician billing information in combination with the Medicare and Medicare EHR Incentive Programs and eligible provider performance and ONC data that includes EHR technology used for each meaningful use attestation.

Among Posnack’s findings include:

Asad Qamar, MD, a Florida cardiologist and the highest paid Medicare physician participating in the EHR incentive program in 2012, made a whopping $18.2 million in Medicare reimbursements, using e-MDs Solution Series. He is the second highest Medicare-paid physician in the U.S. and the best performer according to meaningful use measures.

Then there’s Farid Fata, MD, who is ranked 7th highest Medicare-reimbursed physician and second highest in meaningful use performance. Fata, an oncologist, made more than $10 million in 2012. Fata has been at the center of controversy lately after being accused of healthcare fraud to the tune of $35 million.

From there, as Posnack pointed out, it gets more interesting.

For example, John Welch, an ophthalmologist, has a Medicare ranking of No. 8 yet was the third in MU rankings. Nearly 36 percent of the top 25 list are ophthalmologists.

Ravi Patel, MD, an oncologist was number 20 in MU performance and 45th in Medicare rankings. Both made more than $5 million in 2012.

Other EHR systems found among the top five meaningful users included: MedSym EHR, IntelleChart, MOSAIQ, and NextGen ambulatory EHR.

Posnack’s other findings include:

The 11 EPs that cover oncology, in two categories, and the eight EPs designated ophthalmologists represent the two largest groups of EPs.
Altos Solutions was the top EHR Vendor with six out of 25 EPs using it for MU attestation.

Second was NextGen Healthcare with 4 EPs. Nine of the top 25 practice in Florida, and seven of the 25 completed MU for the first time in 2013.


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