CMS begins pay-outs of Medicare EHR incentives

The first incentive payments from Medicare officially rolled out to physicians and hospitals last week to those successfully demonstrating Meaningful Use of electronic health records during Stage 1.

On the physician front, an early awardee was Kansas Academy of Family Physicians President Jennifer Brull, MD, of Plainville, who received an $18,000 bonus check from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). She operates a solo practice with a patient panel of about 8,000 in rural northwest Kansas.

Brull told the AAFP News that her practice went live with an EHR in 2008. "I have been actively working toward Meaningful Use since the criteria were published in July 2010," she said.

One of the first hospitals to receive a Medicare incentive payment was Jefferson Regional Medical Center, a 471-bed acute care hospital in Pine Bluff, Ark., reports Healthcare IT News.

CMS notified JRMC May 18 through the EHR Incentive Attestation system, that it had achieved the first stage of the Meaningful Use requirements through its EHR system.

The medical center expects to receive approximately $3 million in Stage 1 incentives from CMS, and estimates that it could be eligible for more than $8 million by achieving all three stages of meaningful use, according to reports.

For more information:
- see the AAFP News article
- view the Jefferson Regional Medical Center announcement

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