CMS has released guidance about the appeals process for health care providers who have failed to receive meaningful use incentive payments or are seeking to challenge their payout amount. Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Hospitals and health care providers who can seek appeals include: those deemed ineligible to participate in the incentive program; those denied status as a meaningful user; and those who believe their incentive payments were calculated incorrectly.

The deadline for hospitals to appeal an eligibility determination has been extended from December 31, 2011, to January 30, 2012. Decisions on the appeals will be posted to a CMS website beginning in February.