HIPAA & Health IT: $872 Million in Incentives

October 15, 2011
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The national EHR incentive program is rapidly changing healthcare operations, and as a result, an increasing awareness of health IT is accelerating the need to meet HIPAA compliance requirements for security and privacy.

Since the establishment of the meaningful use program on January 1, 2011, the federal government has paid out more than $872 million in incentives to Medicaid/Medicare health organizations and individual providers that have adopted a meaningful use electronic health records (EHR) system.

The national EHR incentive program is rapidly changing healthcare operations, and as a result, an increasing awareness of health IT is accelerating the need to meet HIPAA compliance requirements for security and privacy.

Since the establishment of the meaningful use program on January 1, 2011, the federal government has paid out more than $872 million in incentives to Medicaid/Medicare health organizations and individual providers that have adopted a meaningful use electronic health records (EHR) system.

While a total of 114644 organizations and individual providers are registered in an EHR system, only 8303 meet the meaningful use standards for attestation.

What is meaningful use? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website lists three main components form the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:

  1. The use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner, such as e-prescribing.
  2. The use of certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of healthcare.
  3. The use of certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality and other measures.

 

HIPAA and Health IT Incentives

The EHR incentive program website provides a timeline of useful dates related to upcoming payments and deadlines:

November 30, 2011 – Last day for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to register and attest to receive an Incentive Payment for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2011.

December 31, 2011 – Reporting year ends for eligible professionals.

February 29, 2012 – Last day for eligible professionals to register and attest to receive an Incentive Payment for calendar year (CY) 2011.

Sources:

CMS: $872 Million in IT Incentives Paid

New Funds Support Rural Hospitals’ Switch to Electronic Health Records

CMS EHR Meaningful Use Overview

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