NEW YORK, Jan. 20 — In Washington DC, on December 30th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that outlines provisions governing the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) incentive programs, including a proposed definition for the central concept of “Meaningful Use” of EHR technology. In order for professionals and hospitals to be eligible to receive payments under the incentive programs, provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), they must be able to demonstrate meaningful use of a certified EHR system.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a foundation for improving quality, efficiency and safety through meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology. The regulations will help implement the Electronic Health Records (EHR) incentive programs enacted under the 2009 Recovery Act.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act authorizes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide a reimbursement incentive for physician and hospital providers who are successful in becoming “Meaningful Users” of an electronic health record (EHR). These incentive payments begin in 2011 and gradually phase down. Starting in 2015, providers are expected to have adopted and be actively utilizing an EHR in compliance with the
“Meaningful Use” definition or they will be subject to financial penalties under Medicare.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
“Widespread adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR) holds great promise for improving health care quality, efficiency, and patient safety,” said National Coordinator for Health Information Technology David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P. “The Recovery Act’s financial incentives demonstrate Congress’ and the Administration’s commitment to help providers adopt and make “Meaningful Use” of electronic health record technology so they can give better care and their patients’ experience of care will improve. Over time, we believe the electronic health record incentive program under Medicare and Medicaid will accelerate and facilitate health information technology adoption by more individual providers and organizations throughout the health care system.”
Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services