EHR incentive payments tally $4.5B to date

The Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record program has paid $4.5 billion to 76,612 physicians and hospitals in incentive payments through March 2012.

Of that amount, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services paid out $339.9 million for Medicare eligible providers, according to its latest data

Fewer Medicare physicians attested and received payments in March than the previous month because the end of February was the cut-off date to be considered part of calendar 2011. However, the 8,651 physicians in March was an increase over January’s 7,668 doctors who received incentives. In February, 12,356 Medicare physicians obtained their payments. The number of hospitals that collected Medicare incentives, however, continued to increase in March to 115 from 84 in February.

Medicaid payments for physicians and hospitals amounted to $254.1 million to adopt, implement and upgrade their EHRs and $13 million to demonstrate meaningful use in March. The Medicaid program started issuing payments in January for meaningful use in addition to updating their systems.

To date, 225,765 providers in total have registered for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs, with 14,101 in March. The states that lead with the highest number of providers registered are California, followed by Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and New York.

This year, more Medicare providers beyond the earliest adopters are expected to sign up for the incentive program, and states are continuing to launch and start making payments under the Medicaid program. Forty-three states are open for registration, and 40 states have made incentive payments, according to CMS.