The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has distributed an estimated $8.36 billion to the 165,800 providers who qualified for the Meaningful Use incentives through the end of October, according to Government Health IT.
The incentives are offered to providers who can document meaningful use of electronic medical record systems according to the CMS eligibility requirements. Payment programs began in January 2011 for Medicaid and May 2011 for Medicare.
Participating providers can choose the specific EHR objectives they wish to pursue for the Meaningful Use attestation phase. To date, the most popular objectives for healthcare professionals have been drug formularies, immunization registries and patient lists. The most common objectives for hospitals have been advanced directives, drug formularies and clinical laboratory results.
Cross-site interoperability of EHR data between acute care and long-term care isn’t prominent on the radar of the eligible providers yet: The transitions of care objective was the least chosen for hospitals and health professionals.
Actual figures through Oct. 31 will be released in the next few weeks. For more information, see the data and payment page for CMS’ Electronic Health Records Incentive Program.