Meaningful Use Payments Reached $25.7B as of Dec. 1, CMS Says

December 10, 2014 in News

On Tuesday, CMS officials said that there has been a “significant increase” in attestation to the meaningful use program in the last month, but some stakeholders say more must be done to improve Stage 2 attestation, Clinical Innovation Technology reports.

Elisabeth Myers, head of CMS’ Office of eHealth Standards and Services, made the announcement during a Health IT Policy Committee meeting.

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation Technology, 12/9).

Attestation Details

As of Dec. 1, CMS has paid out more than $25.7 billion in incentive payments to eligible hospitals and professionals participating in the meaningful use program, according to the latest data.

The CMS data also show that 505,641 active participants had signed up for the incentive program through October. Specifically, for the 2014 reporting period:

  • 60,561 eligible professionals had attested to meaningful use, including 17,046 new participants; and
  • 3,696 eligible hospitals had attested to meaningful use, including 292 new participants (CMS data, 12/9).

Of those who have attested, CMS said that 16,455 eligible professionals and 1,681 eligible hospitals had attested to meaningful use Stage 2 (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 12/10).

CHIME Reaction

In a release, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives President and CEO Russell Branzell said the current attestation data “confirms widespread challenges with Stage 2″ of the incentive program.

Branzell noted that less than 35% of eligible hospitals and only 4% of eligible professionals have met requirements for Stage 2. He said, “It is imperative officials take immediate action to put this critical transformation program back on track.”

Branzell also reiterated CHIME’s support for the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting — or Flex-IT — Act, which would shorten the 2015 reporting period from one year to 90 days. He said the bill would “provide the certainty that health care providers deserve to ensure the safe implementation and use of their EHR systems” (Clinical Innovation Technology, 12/9).

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