EHR Incentive Payments Reach $5.7B

CMS and ONC have announced that the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs have paid more than 110,000 eligible professionals and 2,400 eligible hospitals a total of more than $5.7 billion.

Three months ago, CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari, MD, declared an ambitious goal of getting 100,000 providers to adopt or meaningfully use EHRs by the end of 2012. According to the report, Ms. Tavenner believes meeting the goal ahead of schedule demonstrates that healthcare providers realize the potential of EHRs "to provide better patient care, cut down on paperwork and eliminate duplicate screenings and tests."

Additional milestones reached by the EHR Incentive Program by the end of May 2012 include:

• Approximately 48 percent of all eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals in the U.S. have received an incentive payment for adopting, implementing, upgrading or meaningfully using an EHR.
• One out of every five Medicare and Medicaid eligible professionals in the U.S. has received an incentive payment for adopting, implementing, upgrading or meaningfully using an EHR.
• More than $3 billion in Medicare EHR Incentive Program payments were made between May 2011 (when the first payments were released) and the end of May 2012.
• More than $2.6 billion in Medicaid EHR Incentive Program payments were made between January 2011 (when the first states launched their programs) and the end of May 2012.

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