Under HITECH, Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments will be available to eligible professionals and hospitals when they adopt certified EHR technology and successfully demonstrate “meaningful use” of the technology in ways that improve quality, safety, and effectiveness of patient-centered care. More than 21,000 providers initiated registration for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs in January, and more than 45,000 providers requested information or registration help from 62 Regional Extension Centers (RECs), according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). RECs provide hands-on support for providers who want to adopt and become meaningful users of EHR technology.
An ONC survey conducted in January indicated that 80% of the nation’s hospitals and 41% of office-based physicians intended to sign up for the incentive payments. A CMS press release states that Medicare providers will be able to attest to meaningful use in mid-to-late April, with issuance of Medicaid payments scheduled to start in May.
Click here for more information about the EHR Incentive Programs.