5 Traits of Hospitals Awarded EHR Incentive Payments in 2012

Hospitals were awarded approximately $3.5 billion in electronic health record incentive payments in 2012, up from $1.3 billion in 2011. The amount awarded to hospitals in 2012 ranged from $4,827 to $4.7 million, with the median amount being $1.4 million. In total, 48 percent of all eligible hospitals received a payment in 2012.

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office uses information from CMS and other government sources on both incentive payments and providers to describe the characteristics of hospitals awarded EHR incentive payments in 2012.

Geographical area. The majority (58 percent) of hospitals in the Northeast, or 353 hospitals, were awarded incentive payments in 2012. In comparison, 48 percent of Southern hospitals (900 hospitals), 47 percent of Midwestern hospitals (689 hospitals), and 39 percent of Western hospitals (349 hospitals) were awarded payments. Hospitals in the Northeast were 1.5 times more likely than hospitals in the West to have been awarded an incentive payment.

Hospital setting. The majority (61 percent) of hospitals that received a payment in 2012 were in urban areas, and urban hospitals were 1.2 times more likely than their rural counterparts to receive a payment. In total, 1,393 hospitals in urban areas (51 percent of total urban hospitals) and 882 rural hospitals (42 percent of total rural hospitals) received payments. However, hospitals in a rural area were 3.1 times more likely to have been awarded an incentive payment in 2012 then they were in 2011.

Hospital type. More than four-fifths (83 percent) of hospitals awarded an EHR incentive payment were acute-care hospitals. Acute-care hospitals were also nearly twice as likely as critical access hospitals to have been awarded a payment. The majority of teaching hospitals (266, or 62 percent of all teaching hospitals) received a payment, compared with 46 percent of non-teaching hospitals.

Hospital size. The largest hospitals, those in the top third in terms of bed count with more than 174 beds, were twice as likely than hospitals in the bottom third (less than 39 beds) to have been awarded an incentive payment. In total, 486 hospitals with less than 39 beds received a payment (30 percent of all small hospitals), 827 hospitals with bed counts between 39 and 174 received payments (53 percent of all medium-sized hospitals) and 951 hospitals with bed counts greater than 174 received payments (59 percent of all large hospitals).

Tax-exempt status. Three-fifths (60 percent) of hospitals awarded an incentive payment were nonprofit facilities. For-profit hospitals accounted for 18 percent of 2012 incentive payments, and government-owned hospitals accounted for 22 percent. In total, 1,367 nonprofit hospitals received a payment (50 percent of all nonprofit hospitals), 415 for-profit hospitals received a payment (49 percent of all for-profit hospitals) and 507 government-owned hospitals received a payment (43 percent of all government-owned hospitals).

More Articles on EHR Incentive Payments:

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