Health IT stimulus includes Medicare EMR incentives

The stimulus spending plan promoted by President Obama has passed, including a healthy $20 billion in IT spending that will largely be funneled through CMS to provide incentives for EMR adoption. The new law is expected to dramatically increase EMR adoption and boost IT job growth.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows for $2 billion in discretionary health IT funding and $18 billion in investments and incentives through Medicare and Medicaid.

Under the terms of the bill, CMS will offer incentives to medical practices that adopt and use electronic medical records technology. Beginning in 2011, physicians will get $44,000 to $64,000 over five years for implementing and using a certified EMR. The Congressional Budget Office projects that such incentives will push up to 90 percent of U.S. physicians to use EMRs over the next 10 years.

Practices that don't adopt CCHIT-certified EMR systems by 2014 will have their Medicare reimbursement rates cut by up to 3 percent beginning in 2015.

To learn more about the stimulus bill:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece

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