Wondering how the EHR Incentive program is going? How many Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals (EHs) have registered? How much money has been distributed? Is there a difference between Medicare & Medicaid? Well, thanks to CMS, you can see the statistics through September 2011. Click on this link to open a PDF slide set: EHR Incentive Program September 2011 Report.
Here are some notable numbers:
- Approximately 112,250 EPs have registered under Medicare (88,255) and Medicaid (23,993)
- Incentive payments (year to date) for EPs total approximately $80,375,006
- ~$67M for Medicare (3,772 providers)
- ~$134M for Medicaid (6,361 providers)
- Average payment per EP under the Medicare program was $17,762
- Average payment per EP under the Medicaid program was $21,065
- Total Medicare payments year-to-date (EPs and EHs) = $357,399,390
- Total Medicaid payments year-to-date (EPs and EHs) = $514,769,308
Given the number of physicians with an active license (approximately 850,000 according to this report) and the number of registered hospitals in the United States (approximately 5,795 hospitals according to the American Hospital Association), one might express disappointment that only slightly over 10,000 EPs and just 564 hospitals have received EHR Incentive payments. However, that’s 10,000 more EPs with financial support for their EHR implementation than would have occurred without HITECH and over $670M that has gone to hospitals in support of health IT implementation. Hopefully clinical care for patients in all of these settings has improved as a consequence of implementing Meaningful Use, though of course that remains to be seen.
So let’s give credit where credit is due. Money is moving to the field in support of health IT adoption, implementation, and meeting Meaningful Use. Last year, these totals were $0.00. Further, if these EPs and EHs can achieve MU, many others should be able to do so, too. The final quarter of 2011 (October–December) should be telling, as well as 2012.
What do you think about the EHR Incentive program results to date?