Since 2009, more than $8.9 billion and $5.8 billion in federal payments have been awarded to eligible hospitals and physicians/professionals, respectively, participating in the EHR (electronic health record) Incentive Program. These payments are meant to encourage healthcare providers to use EHRs in interoperable, meaningful ways to better coordinate patient care.
We now find ourselves in Stage 2 of 3 of the program’s Meaningful Use phase, and some providers are struggling to meet the criteria necessary for receiving incentive payments. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently extended Stage 2 by one year to 2016 and delayed the start of Stage 3 until 2017 to allow providers to bring themselves up to speed with clinical process and standards adoption.
HIDA recently compiled a helpful Fact Sheet (PDF) that tracks and explains EHR Incentive Program and Meaningful Use developments. With financial penalties taking effect for all eligible providers beginning in 2015, now is as good a time as any to figure out exactly where your organization stands on EHR standards adoption and implementation.