Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) introduced legislation that would reward hospitals using electronic medical records and automated bill payment systems with higher Medicare payments.
Over a period of time, payments to large healthcare facilities that fail to use such systems would be reduced. Specifics of the bill were not available at deadline, and a Kennedy spokesman said he did not have details about how the incentives would work.
The legislation would set the goal of broadly implementing electronic medical records by 2011, he said.
Kennedy's bill follows several like it in both the House and Senate, but it is the first to specifically propose tying Medicare payments to the use of information technology, the spokesman said.