JANUARY 10, 2012 - The Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record program has paid more than $2.5 billion to physicians and hospitals in incentive payments for all of 2011, with December contributing to the steep growth curve.
Medicare incentives for demonstrating meaningful use of EHRs reached $1.38 billion for the year, while Medicaid payments for providers to adopt, implement and upgrade their EHRs were estimated at $1.15 billion, for a total of $2.53 billion.
In 2011, 176,000 providers registered for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs, and 41 states launched their Medicaid incentive programs but only 33 were far enough along to distribute payments since they have started at different times.
In December, the Medicare program paid $464.7 million to 4,997 physicians and 193 hospitals, while the states issued $229.4 million to 2,794 eligible physicians and professionals and 230 hospitals under the Medicaid program. There are 124,000 eligible professionals registered for the Medicare program, a little over 30 percent of all potential EPs. On the Medicaid side, more than 49,000 eligible professionals have registered, but they had to wait for their states to launch their programs, some of them as late as the fall. Read more