The percentage of physicians in the United States using electronic health records (EHR) has increased by nine percent (20% to 29%) over the past twelve months. The push towards electronic records has been firmly supported by the current and previous presidential administrations. The Obama Administration aims to have at least 50 percent of Americans using EHRs by 2014 in an attempt to reduce health care costs and medical errors.
This month, the United States government will begin distributing incentive payments to hospitals and doctors who opt to use EHRs. These incentive plans could pay out as much as $31.3 billion. If health care providers meet government standards for the EHRs, they may be eligible to receive up to $44,000 over six years through Medicare and up to an additional $63,750 over five years from Medicaid. Additionally, the federal government plans to reduce Medicare reimbursements to health care providers who fail to make the electronic switch by 2015.
If you need help understanding the meaningful use requirements, HIPAA security or assistance with negotiation of EHR contracts, please contact a Wachler and Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.