More than 50% of medical professionals and 80% of hospitals have received Medicare or Medicaid incentive payments related to meaningful use of electronic health records, a more than twofold increase since 2012.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it has exceeded its goal for 2013 due to physicians, hospitals and other eligible providers adopting meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs).
“We have reached a tipping point in adoption of electronic health records,” Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary, stated in a press release. “More than half of eligible professionals and 80% of eligible hospitals have adopted these systems, which are critical to modernizing our health care system. Health IT helps providers better coordinate care, which can improve patients’ health and save money at the same time.”
In 2008, only 17% of physicians and 9% of hospitals had adopted an advanced EHR system, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HHS reported that at the end of April, more than 291,000 medical professionals and more than 3,800 hospitals received Medicare or Medicaid incentive payments for meaningful use of EHRs.
The incentive payments are distributed when an eligible professional or hospital adopts, implements, upgrades or meaningfully uses an EHR. HHS said widespread EHR use eases implementation of other measures put forth by the Affordable Care Act, such as improved care coordination, reduction of duplicate tests and procedures and rewards for hospitals that keep patients healthier.