CMS to offer EMR adoption incentives

CMS announced last week that it would launch a five-year program under which it would pay participating physicians to report quality data using EMRs. Under the terms of the program, which officials brag is the "largest step yet" in boosting physician EMR adoption, will work with 100 physicians in each of 12 markets. CMS will begin recruiting physicians over the next several months; it's targeting small groups of three to five physicians, but will also include some sole practitioners in the mix.

While CMS is pleased with itself, many outside experts see this as a modest effort, rather than the big deal the agency seems to think it is. I'm not sure I agree with the critics, however. While I'm the first to chastise agencies like CMS for overreaching, I think the program's focus on small practices and national scope make good sense. However, the question remains as to whether the incentives are actually large enough to be motivating.

To learn more about the program:
- read this Modern Healthcare item on the program
- read this other Modern Healthcare piece on reactions to the program

Related Articles:
Want shared EMRs? Drop the technology debates. Editorial
NY gives free EMRs to some physicians. Report
The hidden side of EMR adoption. Editorial

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