In addition to improving the quality and efficiency of patient care, one of the biggest reasons many physicians and hospitals are converting to an electronic health record (EHR) is because government incentives are available to meaningful users of EHRs. The incentive program has been available for more than a year, so you may be wondering who is getting those payments and how they are being distributed across the country. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released some interesting data concerning incentive payments that answers these questions. First, let’s take a look at the program as a whole.
Since the CMS EHR Incentive program began in January 2011, eligible medical professionals and hospitals have received nearly $1.7 billion in incentives. Also, more than $1.4 billion in Medicaid EHR Incentive payments have been made as of January 2012. More than 350 hospitals have received payments under both Medicare and Medicaid, 20 of which were Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs).
Now, let’s take a look at the breakdown by state:
The five states that received the most total payments from Medicare and Medicaid were:
- Texas – $419,122,039
- Florida – $282,907,964
- Pennsylvania – $177,774,806
- Ohio – $155,663,640
- Michigan – $134,208,325
Looking at the statistics, 21 states received more than $50 million, and 28 states and U.S. territories received between $1 million and $50 million. There seems to be a heavy emphasis on states in the North, South and Midwest, with California being the exception on the West Coast.
The five states that reported the most registrants were:
- California – 15,677
- Texas – 15,180
- Florida – 11,030
- Pennsylvania – 10,834
- New York – 10,012
Since May of 2011, 191,604 eligible professionals and hospitals have registered for incentive programs. Although that number includes thousands of optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractors, physicians and nurse practitioners, the majority (more than 60%) came from Medicare-eligible doctors of medicine or osteopathy. They accounted for $376,416,000, with the most incentives going to family practice, internal medicine, cardiology and gastroenterology.
If you’re interested in finding medical professionals and hospitals near you that have adopted an EHR, CMS is a fantastic resource. Because of the HITECH Act’s requirements, CMS must post the names, business phone numbers and business addresses of all recipients (including eligible professionals, hospitals and CAHs), which you can find in the links at the beginning of this paragraph.
As an ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Complete EHR, Care360® has the tools to meet the health and efficiency goals required to obtain Meaningful Use. You’ll experience new levels of speed, productivity and accuracy in every aspect of your practice—from lab orders and prescription tracking, to patient management.