IT in­cen­tive money starts flow­ing to providers

Modern Healthcare - - SPECIAL REPORT -

The big story in health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy for 2011 is cash flow—as in more than $1.2 bil­lion in fed­eral cash that flows into the bank ac­counts of early par­tic­i­pants in the elec­tronic health-record in­cen­tive pay­ments pro­grams un­der the Amer­i­can Re­cov­ery and Rein­vest­ment Act of 2009.

Through Oc­to­ber 2011, more than $952 mil­lion in EHR in­cen­tive money is split among 857 hos­pi­tals, while $287 mil­lion is divvied up among nearly 14,500 of­fice-based physi­cians and other el­i­gi­ble pro­fes­sion­als, ac­cord­ing to the CMS. The av­er­age pay­ment to hos­pi­tals is a bit more than $1.1 mil­lion. El­i­gi­ble pro­fes­sion­als re­ceive a fixed ini­tial pay­ment of $18,000 un­der the Medi­care por­tion of the pro­gram and just over $21,000 un­der Med­i­caid. Med­i­caid, which got an early start by mak­ing its first pay­ments in Jan­uary, doles out a lit­tle more than $712 mil­lion; Medi­care, which did not make pay­ments un­til May, dis­trib­utes roughly $528 mil­lion.

Other high­lights:

Reg­u­la­tory pres­sure is build­ing on the in­dus­try to achieve the goals of Pres­i­dents Ge­orge W. Bush and Barack Obama to pro­vide most Amer­i­cans with ac­cess to an elec­tronic med­i­cal record by 2014. An early fis­sure as a re­sult of that pres­sure comes as Dr. Farzad Mostashari, head of the Of­fice of the National Co­or­di­na­tor for Health In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, sup­ports a fed­eral ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee’s rec­om­men­da­tion in June that the CMS ex­tend by one year the com­pli­ance dead­line for Stage 2 mean­ing­ful use for some early adopters of health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

Breaches and pri­vacy lapses make head­lines again in 2011 as health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions suf­fer record data losses dur­ing the year. In Septem­ber, in its re­port to Congress, the Of­fice for Civil Rights at HHS says there have been more than 30,500 breaches, most with fewer than 500 records, since it be­gan count­ing them in late 2009. By year’s end, the of­fice’s pub­lic “wall of shame” lists 372 ma­jor breaches (in­volv­ing 500 or more records each) to­tal­ing nearly 18 mil­lion records. Mil­i­tary health­care payer Tri­care Man­age­ment Ac­tiv­ity and its data backup ser­vices ven­dor, Sci­ence Ap­pli­ca­tion In­ter­na­tional Corp., tops the wall with the largest breach of the year at 4.9 mil­lion records.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.