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More than half of the nation’s eligible health care providers and about 80% of eligible hospitals have adopted Electronic Health Records (“EHRs”). This is more than double the number of providers using EHRs one year ago, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and exceeds the goals set by the Obama administration.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey showed that in the year 2008, only 17% of physicians used an advanced EHR system. For hospitals, only 9% used EHRs in 2008.
As part of the incentive to increase the number of providers using EHRs, Medicare and Medicaid instituted the Meaningful Use Program, which makes payments to certain providers and physicians for meeting criteria established by HHS. The incentive payments will be offered until 2016. The use of EHRs and Health IT are being stressed as fundamental to health care quality and efficiency, and are integral elements of the Recovery Act and the Affordable Care Act.
The government believes that the use of EHRs will lead to improved health care coordination, as well as reducing duplicative tests and procedures, and rewarding hospitals for keeping patients healthier.
To read the news release, click here.
Click here for more information about the EHR incentive program.