Health Information Exchange Featured Article

September 11, 2012

Almost $7 Billion Paid Out to Healthcare Providers Who Show Meaningful use of EHRs

The numbers vary, but studies show that up to 55 percent of physicians have adopted electronic health record (ehr) technology, and of those who have, almost half, said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their EHR system, according to a 2011 survey.

And now we know why. As of the end of August, $6.9 billion in meaningful use incentive payments had been distributed to more than 143,000 physicians and hospitals, according to CMS estimates, the Government Health IT reported.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, healthcare providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Robert Anthony, a specialist in CMS' Office of eHealth Standards and Services, said that the agency distributed about $500 million in incentive payments during the month of August, including $325 million to Medicare providers, and $175 million to Medicaid providers.

As of July, about 18 percent of eligible professionals were now certified as being meaningful users of EHRs and 55 percent of eligible hospitals had received a meaningful use payment, the report stated.

According to CMS' July report, 3,884 hospitals and 267,221 physicians and other eligible professionals were enrolled in the meaningful use incentive program.

Of those, about 93 percent of the eligible hospitals and 48 percent of the eligible professionals had received incentive payments.

The Department of Health and Human Services said in July that more than 100,000 healthcare providers are using electronic health records that meet federal standards and have benefited from the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.

Edited by Brooke Neuman