Electronic Health Records

Policy & Regulation News

Meaningful use of EHRs brings providers nearly $18 billion

By Jennifer Bresnick

- The cash continues to flow freely for providers who have proven the meaningful use of their EHRs, according to the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Eligible providers and hospitals have shared out $17.7 billion in incentive payments as of November, 2013, with 86% of hospitals and 76% of eligible professionals sharing a piece of the pie.

The vast majority of eligible hospitals and providers have registered for the program, although not every organization has successfully attested.  Ninety-three percent of hospitals and about 82% of EPs are on the books.  334,081 unique providers have received a payment since the inception of the EHR Incentive Programs.

During this week’s Health IT Policy Committee meeting, CMS officials released additional data on provider performance, noting that organizations were achieving many of the core menu objectives for Stage 1 of Meaningful Use at incredibly high rates.

Drug formulary, immunization registries, and patient list were the most commonly chosen objectives, while the transition of care summary and patient reminders were the least popular for EPs.  Hospitals most often picked advance directives and clinical lab test results, while staying about from transition of care summaries and reportable lab results.  Hospitals also lagged a little on CPOE for medication orders and syndromic surveillance reporting, while EPs had similar problems, performing less successfully on CPOE and ePrescribing.

The incentives for Meaningful Use participation will be winding down soon.  In 2015, Medicare will begin to make negative payment adjustments to the amount of reimbursement a non-meaningful user will receive for their services, despite the extension of Stage 2 and Stage 3 for an additional year.  Providers who complete their first attestation in calendar year 2014 will only receive a total of $24,000 for their participation as opposed to early adopters who were eligible for nearly twice that amount.

 

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