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Electronic Health Records Incentive Payments Through April 2013

CMS: $14.6B in EHR Incentive Pay Doled Out Through April

As of the end of April, about $14.6 billion in meaningful use incentive payments had been distributed to eligible hospitals and health care professionals, according to a CMS official, Healthcare IT News reports.

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

At a Health IT Policy Committee meeting on Wednesday, Robert Anthony -- deputy director of the Health IT Initiative Group at CMS' Office of E-Health Standards and Services -- announced the most current data on meaningful use incentive payments.

Latest Meaningful Use Data

According to Anthony, more than 292,000 Medicare- and Medicaid- eligible professionals had received EHR incentives as of the end of April.

In addition, 2,977 hospitals had successfully attested to meaningful use as of the end of April.

Anthony also noted that as of the end of April:

  • 75% of eligible hospitals had made a financial commitment to an EHR system;
  • More than 55% of Medicare- and Medicaid- eligible professionals had made a financial commitment to an EHR system;
  • 75% of eligible professionals were registered for the program;
  • More than 77% of hospitals had been paid under the meaningful use program;
  • About 63% of all Medicaid-eligible professionals had received an EHR incentive payment;
  • About 50% of Medicare-eligible professionals were meaningful users; and
  • 61% of meaningful users for Medicaid and Medicare were in specialty care (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 6/6).

Small Urban Hospitals Lag in Meaningful Use Attestation

Also during the meeting, Jennifer King -- from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation and Modeling -- reported that small urban hospitals are lagging behind large and medium hospitals in attesting to meaningful use.

King said that as of the end of April:

  • 69% of larger hospitals had attested to meaningful use;
  • 68% of small rural hospitals had attested to meaningful use;
  • 66% of medium-sized hospitals had attested to meaningful use; and
  • 49% of small urban hospitals had achieved meaningful use.

She added that 19% of small urban hospitals have not yet registered for the incentive program (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 6/5).

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