The Medicare and Medicaid electronic health-record incentive payment programs have picked up steam heading into the new year, the CMS' latest monthly data reports (PDF) indicate.
CMS: EHR incentive payments jump in November
Only 10,155 physicians and other eligible professionals had received Medicare EHR payments through Nov. 11, 2011, according to the CMS, so with about 530,000 physicians working in office-based care settings in the U.S., there's plenty of room for growth.
But the CMS programs are growing, and at an accelerated pace, according to an analysis of the data comparing the CMS' reports for October and November.
During that one-month period, the number of paid eligible professionals under Medicare jumped 75% to 10,155 from the 5,805 listed in the CMS' October report.
In addition, 11,140 EPs have been paid under the Medicaid EHR program through November, up 28% from the 8,684 in the October report, according to the CMS.
Payments to a combined total of 21,295 eligible professionals through November were nearly $417 million, with $183 million coming from Medicare, which began making payments in May, and $234 million coming from state Medicaid programs, some of which started paying back in January. Payments to eligible professionals under both programs were up 45% in one month.
By November, 1,213 payments had gone to hospitals under the Medicare and/or Medicaid programs. Unlike eligible professionals, who can participate in only one of the two federal EHR incentive programs, hospitals can double-dip, receiving payments from one or the other or both.
Through November, 411 hospitals had been paid under the Medicare EHR incentive program, up 75% from October, while 802 had received Medicaid incentive payments, up 29% in a month.
Hospitals received nearly $738 million in EHR incentive payments under Medicare and not quite $675 million in payments under Medicaid. Combined, the two programs had paid hospitals more than $1.4 billion by November, an increase of 48% in combined total payments in a single month.
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