CMS Launches EHR Incentive Website - InformationWeek

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Healthcare // Electronic Health Records
01:31 PM

CMS Launches EHR Incentive Website

Healthcare professionals can get information on federal electronic health record incentives.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched an official website to guide hospitals, medical professionals, and other stakeholders who want to learn more about the Medicare & Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs.

Launched Monday, the website provides the most up-to-date, detailed information about the EHR incentive programs, which will provide payments to eligible professionals and hospitals as they implement and demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

The site states that: "The nation's healthcare system is undergoing a transformation in an effort to improve quality, safety, and efficiency of care, from the upgrade to ICD-10 to information exchanges of EHR technology. To help facilitate this vision, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the 'HITECH Act' established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the 'meaningful use' of certified EHR technology."

By implementing a certified EHR system, the site says, providers will reap benefits beyond financial incentives -- like reduction in errors, availability of records and data, reminders and alerts, clinical decision support, and e-Prescribing/refill automation. The incentive payment programs will begin in 2011.

Last Friday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a final rule to establish a temporary certification program for EHR technology. The program establishes a way for organizations to be authorized by the ONC to test and certify EHR technology.

The final rule has been posted to the site, along with an overview of the incentive programs, the criteria for eligibility for individual providers and hospitals, information on certification bodies, and an outline on meaningful use requirements. The site also has information for states that may voluntarily offer the Medicaid EHR incentive program to their Medicaid-eligible professionals.

In the coming months, the site will include information on how to register for the incentive programs and promises to post information on EHR training and events.

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