EHR Adoption Way Up in Hospitals

The number of hospitals using health information technology has more than doubled in the past two years, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

From 2009 to 2011, the percentage of U.S. hospitals that had adopted electronic health records (EHRs) went from 16% to 35% according data from a new survey conducted by the American Hospital Association and announced by Sebelius during a Friday speech at a community college in Kansas City, Mo.

And 85% of the responding hospitals said they intend to take advantage of incentive payments made available through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was part of the 2009 economic stimulus package, authorized incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid to clinicians and hospitals when they use EHRs in a meaningful way that significantly improves clinical care -- referred to as "meaningful use" regulations.

The program will make available incentive payments up to $44,000 per clinician over five years through Medicare and $63,750 per physician over five years through Medicaid.

So far, CMS has paid a little more than $3 billion in incentive payments to more than 2,000 hospitals and more than 41,000 physicians and other healthcare providers who have started to use EHRs in a "meaningful" way.

Read the full story at: http://tinyurl.com/87rdlqm

Source: MedPage Today