DeSalvo Says $24B Already Spent Through Meaningful Use Program

March 21, 2014 in News

At a Federal Trade Commission event on Thursday, National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo said $24 billion already has been doled out through the meaningful use program, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 3/20).

Background

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments

In 2012, CMS estimated it would spend a total of $22.5 billion in incentive payments for all EHR incentive programs — a decrease from its 2009 estimate of about $27 billion.

Payments under the Medicare program are scheduled to continue through 2016, while incentive payments under the Medicaid portion of the program could continue through 2020 (iHealthBeat, 3/4).

DeSalvo’s Comments

DeSalvo said, “That $24 billion, by the way, does not include the Medicaid investments that are going on now and will continue until 2021.” She estimated that future Medicaid incentive payments could total an additional $16 billion.

DeSalvo also highlighted several challenges ONC is attempting to address, such as how to gather information from providers that are not currently eligible for the meaningful use program, including:

  • Behavioral health facilities; and
  • Long-term, post-acute care facilities.

She said, “We still have some pretty important gaps in the capture of good health information,” adding, “There are many more in the care continuum where, frankly, some of the sickest of the sick of our community are receiving services and we’re not yet able to capture information in a standardized way” (Health Data Management, 3/20).

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