More than 110,000 eligible professionals and 2,400 eligible hospitals have been paid for meaningfully using their electronic health record systems as of May 2012, exceeding the government's goal of 100,000 for the year, according to an announcement this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office for the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). The agencies' original goal was to have 100,000 providers paid by the end of 2012.
According to the agencies, over $5.7 billion in EHR incentive program payments have been made, amounting to about 48 percent of eligible hospitals and about 20 percent of eligible professionals.
"Meeting this goal so early in the year is a testament to the commitment of everyone who has worked hard to meet the challenges of integrating EHRs and health information technology into clinical practice," CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in the announcement.
However, all is not completely rosy. While registration of the program continues to rise, many providers are not attesting successfully. A recent webinar sponsored by Physicians Practice reported that only slightly more than half of physicians that attested actually earned the incentive payment.
Moreover, providers remain worried about EHRs and the Meaningful Use program, particularly as it progresses into Stage 2. The American Hospital Association noted that while hospitals are "clearly committed" to the adoption of EHRs, the high bar for meeting Meaningful Use and the cost of EHRs continues to be a major concern.