Tom Sullivan, Editor, Government Health IT
Tom Sullivan is the Editor of Government Health IT. Tom covers healthcare IT in all government settings, at the federal, state and local levels. He writes about industry trends and is responsible for overall coverage decisions. Follow Tom on Twitter @GovHITeditor.
EHR incentive payments surge to $13.7B
Nearly half of eligible professionals have registered for MUWASHINGTON | May 8, 2013
“March was a very big month,” said Rob Anthony of CMS’ office of e-health standards and services during a HIT Policy Committee meeting. “We have a large majority of hospitals at this point.”
Anthony added that 86 percent of eligible hospitals have registered for the meaningful use program, and 77 percent have received reimbursement payments.
[See also: EHR incentive payments top $12 billion.]
“Most importantly, we have close to 260,00 unique eligible providers,” or nearly half of all eligible professionals registered for the program, Anthony added.
Which led to the natural question about those hospitals not participating today.
“The hospitals we’re seeing challenged most at this time are in rural areas, or critical access hospitals,” Anthony explained. “As we move forward and start engaging in education on this front we’ll get a better sense of the challenges facing them and what the hurdles are for these hospitals.”
Farzad Mostashari, MD, the national coordinator for health IT, explained during the HIT Policy Committee meeting the industry is about halfway toward digitizing the healthcare system and 5 percent of the way toward reaping the benefits of that IT infrastructure. Scaling that success, practice-by-practice and not just among large health systems is going to the challenge moving forward, he added.
While CMS has not yet finalized statistics for April, Anthony said that based on the freshest estimates, “it looks like April is also going to be a large month for us.
Topics: Electronic Health Record (EHR), Financial/Revenue Cycle Management, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Health IT Policy Committee, Meaningful use, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)