Physician incentives for the meaningful use of electronic health records total $75 million, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced.
The payments were made to physicians who had registered for the incentive program in the first 2 weeks of eligibility. Starting April 18, physicians could go to a secure CMS website and “attest” that they had complied with program requirements for a continuous 90-day reporting period during the first year of participation in the Medicare EHR incentive program.
The program was created under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Physicians, hospitals, and other eligible providers in seven states have received an additional $83.3 million in incentive payments under Medicaid.
Each state is launching a separate program. In January, programs began in Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. In April, Alabama and Missouri began programs, and in May, Indiana and Ohio launched programs.
CMS officials said they expect incentive payments to grow, and that more professionals and hospitals will register for the Medicare and Medicaid incentives.
As of April 30, 42,600 eligible physicians and hospitals had registered for the two programs.
“I'm looking forward to continued growth and greater adoption,” CMS Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick said in a briefing with reporters.
Under Medicare, eligible providers can receive up to $44,000 over 5 years. Under the Medicaid program, eligible providers can get up to $63,750 over 6 years.
Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said the meaningful use criteria under the Medicare EHR incentive program is “providing [a] model for a coordinated national transition to health information technology.”