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HHS: Doctors and Hospitals’ Use of Health IT More Than Doubles Since 2012

May 22, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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More than half of all doctors and other eligible providers have received Medicare or Medicaid incentive payments for adopting or meaningfully using electronic health records (EHRs), according to an announcement from the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

HHS has met and exceeded its goal for 50 percent of doctor offices and 80 percent of eligible hospitals to have EHRs by the end of 2013. Since the Obama administration started encouraging providers to adopt EHRs, usage has increased dramatically. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey in 2012, the percent of physicians using an advanced EHR system was just 17 percent in 2008. Today, more than 50 percent of eligible professionals (mostly physicians) have demonstrated meaningful use and received an incentive payment. For hospitals, just nine percent had adopted EHRs in 2008, but today, more than 80 percent have demonstrated meaningful use of EHRs.

As of the end of April 2013:

  • More than 291,000 eligible professionals and over 3,800 eligible hospitals have received incentive payments from the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs.
  • Approximately 80 percent of all eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals in the U.S. have received an incentive payment for adopting, implementing, upgrading, or meaningfully using an EHR.
  • More than half of physicians and other eligible professionals in the U.S. have received an incentive payment for adopting, implementing, upgrading, or meaningfully using an EHR.

“We have reached a tipping point in adoption of electronic health records,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “More than half of eligible professionals and 80 percent of eligible hospitals have adopted these systems, which are critical to modernizing our healthcare system. Health IT helps providers better coordinate care, which can improve patients’ health and save money at the same time.”

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