Registration numbers climbing for EHR incentive programs

By the end of January, more than 21,000 providers initiated registration for the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive programs, Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) officials announced this week.

In addition, about two-thirds of that group are ready to confirm that they have met meaningful use requirements when CMS finally activates the attestation module on its website in April, according to Elizabeth Holland, director of the health IT initiatives group of CMS's Office of eHealth Standards and Services.

Building that many interfaces has taken time, Holland said Monday at the HIMSS11 conference in Orlando. When it is completed, the attestation module will guide providers through various core and menu measures--describing them on display screens with boxes to be used to check or show calculations, Government Health IT reports.

CMS also is planning an attestation test module in which providers--even if they are not yet ready to attest--can still insert their information to practice and see if they can pass or not, Holland said.

While the issuance of Medicare payments is scheduled to begin in May, Medicaid already has started to make payments. At the end of January, four states--Oklahoma, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Iowa--reported initial Medicaid EHR incentive payments totaling $20,425,550, CMS announced.

In addition, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT announced that as of Feb. 11, more than 45,000 providers had requested information or registration help from 62 regional extension centers.

For more details:
- see the CMS announcement
- read the Government Health IT article