Six states receive federal funds for EHR incentives

By Bernie Monegain
09:08 AM

Colorado is one of six states that will receive federal matching funds for state planning activities necessary to implement the electronic health record incentive program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the awards on Thursday.

  • Utah will receive $396,000
  • Wyoming will receive $596,000
  • Nevada will receive $1.05 million
  • Mississippi will receive $1.47 million
  • North Carolina will receive $2.29 million

The Recovery Act provides a 90 percent federal match for state planning activities to administer the incentive payments to Medicaid providers, to ensure their proper payments through audits and to participate in statewide efforts to promote interoperability and meaningful use of EHR technology statewide and, eventually, across the nation.

"We congratulate (the states) for qualifying for these federal matching funds to assist its plan for implementing the Recovery Act's EHR incentive program," said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations at CMS. "Meaningful and interoperable use of EHRs in Medicaid will increase healthcare efficiency, reduce medical errors and improve quality-outcomes and patient satisfaction within and across the states."

Colorado will use its federal matching funds for planning activities that include conducting a comprehensive analysis to determine the current status of healthcare information technology activities in the state.

As part of that process, Colorado will gather information on issues such as existing barriers to its use of EHRs, provider eligibility for EHR incentive payments, and the creation of a State Medicaid HIT Plan, which will define the state's vision for its long-term healthcare IT use.