Medicare is now offering incentives to hospitals and eligible health-care professionals for the use of electronic health records, but Medicaid is doing so in only 11 states. Kentucky is one of them.
Dr. Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the change from paper records will be challenging, but CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology “have taken steps to ease the transition.”
The federal programs encourage physicians and hospitals to transition to computerized patient records, because they are believed to improve the quality of health care and patient outcomes. Through Medicare, Mosquera reports physicians can get up to $44,000 over five years by participating. For Medicaid, eligible professionals can receive as much as $63,750 over six years. Under both programs, participating hospitals may profit by millions of dollars, Government Health IT‘s Mary Mosquera reports.