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EHR incentive payments reach nearly $12.7B

By Joseph Conn
Posted: April 2, 2013 - 3:00 pm ET

Federal payments to hospitals, physicians and other eligible professionals under the three electronic health-record incentive payment programs of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have reached 234,065 organizations and individuals and nearly $12.7 billion, according to the CMS.

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Both numbers—which are the counts from the start of payments in 2011 through February—topped previous CMS estimates for the period released last month by 7% and 3% respectively.

According to the CMS, 3,781 hospitals, or three out of four of the 5,011 hospitals deemed by the CMS as eligible for participation in the program, have already received payments from either the Medicare or Medicaid portions of the EHR incentive payment programs, or both. Some 86% of eligible hospitals have registered with the programs.

Physicians and other eligible professionals collectively referred to by program officials as EPs, trail hospitals significantly in their payment and registration rates.

Including 11,117 EPs participating through the relatively smaller Medicare Advantage EHR incentive payment program, plus 139,910 EPs who have been paid EHR incentives under the Medicare program and 79,257 who have been paid under Medicaid, a total of 229,684 EPs have received incentive payments overall. That's roughly 44% of the 527,200 EPs the CMS deems eligible for the three programs. So far, 75% of eligible EPs have registered for one of the three programs.

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