Healthcare News & Insights

Incentives for electronic health records: Feds to increase criteria in phases

If you thought it would be tough to get EHR programs set up to the point that your organization qualifies for Medicaid and Medicare subsidies, you may have a little extra breathing room.

The feds are planning to propose three-phase criteria for use of EHR (electronic health records) that would qualify for subsidies under ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.)

A recent statement from David Hunt, Chief Medical Officer, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, gave execs a heads up as to what they can expect the upcoming proposed rules to look like.

Hunt said the feds intend to have specific goals in place for 2011, 2013 and 2015. For 2011, the goal is “structure,’ for 2013 it’s “process,” and for 2015, “outcomes.”

Essentially, what that means is by 2011, hospitals will need to have systems up and running, and be able to send data to CMS. In 2013, the criteria will focus on ways to measure that providers are using the systems “meaningfully,” and in 2015, the focus will be on measuring the actual impact on patient care.

After the proposed rule is published, CMS will collect comments for 60 days. We’ll keep you posted.

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