EHR incentive program pays out more than $7 billion


The electronic health record incentive program, which encourages practitioners to demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs through incentive payments, paid out approximately $7.4 billion from May 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012.

More than $3.9 billion of that came from Medicare incentives and more than $3.5 billion came from Medicaid, according to the latest batch of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data.

Incentive payments vary significantly by state, reports (.pdf) CMS. Florida had the most Medicare incentive payments, $307.5 million, while Alaska had the least with almost $2 million. In Medicaid incentive payments California led the way with $399.5 million, while North Dakota had the least with just over $3 million.

Twenty-one states received more than $150 million in incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid, as of Aug. 31. Meanwhile, 13 states received less than $50 million in incentive payments from May 2011 to Aug. 31, 2012.

The number of active registrants in the program continues to climb along with the incentive payments.

According to CMS figures (.pdf), the EHR incentive program has 307,129 osteopathic doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractors, physicians, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and hospitals actively registered in the program, as of Sept. 30. The program added 20,010 in September alone, and has added 131,080 active registrants this year.   

California, Texas and New York have the most active registrants, according (.pdf) to CMS. Eligible healthcare professionals and hospitals in those three states alone account for 22 percent of the nation's total active registrants as of Sept. 30.

For more:
- download the CMS September EHR incentive registration report (.pdf)
- download the CMS state-by-state payments report (.pdf)

Related Articles:
CMS releases final Stage 2 Meaningful Use rules
RAND: Government's Health IT investment hard to measure
Spotlight: ONC to launch survey on EHR privacy, security