RECs Surpass Goal of Helping Providers Attest to Stage 1 MU

September 18, 2014 in News

On Wednesday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health announced that regional extension centers have surpassed their goal of helping 100,000 health care providers attest to Stage 1 of the meaningful use program, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 9/18).

Background

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

The stimulus package’s HITECH Act provided about $688 million in federal funding to create 62 RECs to assist providers with meeting meaningful use criteria (iHealthBeat, 5/14). According to ONC, the REC network includes:

  • 83% of all community health centers;
  • 80% of critical access hospitals;
  • 54% of rural providers;
  • 44% of primary care providers; and
  • More than 13,000 specialists (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 9/18).

REC Achievements

National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo and Office of Programs and Engagement Director Kimberly Lynch in a “Health IT Buzz” blog post said that RECs have helped 91% of primary care and specialist providers adopt an EHR system.

In addition, they noted that RECs have helped more than 5,000 providers receive support for advanced care delivery and more than 200 providers are receiving REC program support to become patient-centered medical homes (DeSalvo/Lynch, “Health IT Buzz,” 9/17).

DeSalvo and Lynch wrote, “Through their work, RECs have developed strong relationships with the nation’s providers, establishing themselves as a credible and capable resource.”

DeSalvo also said that 93% of RECs are expected to be financially stable by the time federal funding expires (EHR Intelligence, 9/18). Funding is set to expire by the end of this year (Health Data Management, 9/18).

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