HHS and the CMS plan to launch a five-year program in which the CMS will recruit and pay 100 physicians in each of 12 target communities to report quality measures using electronic health-record systems in what the government is describing as the largest step yet toward boosting physician adoption of EHR systems. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt was scheduled to attend a news conference announcing the plan at 499-bed Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati but was called to the White House to consult on childrens health insurance legislation. He made the announcement late last month via a telephone hookup and said the program is not only a milepost in EHR adoption, Its a direction post that I believe will be profoundly acknowledged and recognized in the marketplace. Acting CMS Administrator Kerry Weems says recruitment of physicians will begin in late winter or early spring and will focus on small groups, but could include solo practitioners. A lot of Americans go to practices with three to five docs, Weems says. The (EHR) adoption rate is low in the three-to-five-doc range, but we also think it might be most responsive to the kinds of incentives the CMS plans to use, he says. We may take up some solo practices, too. But our sweet spot is three to five.
Grant program to promote physician IT adoption
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