Incentive Programs/Meaningful Use
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 was intended to create jobs and promote investment and consumer spending during the recession. ARRA included the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act , which authorized incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid to clinicians and hospitals when they use EHRs to achieve specified improvements in healthcare delivery. This allows for incentive payments totaling up to $27 billion over 10 years.
The goal was not to just encourage adoption but meaningful use (MU) of EHRs. The Secretary of Health and Human Services was charged to develop the MU objectives. The incentive programs are run through Medicare and Medicaid and will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate MU of certified EHR technology. There are three main components (stages) to MU: use of a certified EHR in a meaningful manner, use of a certified EHR for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of health care, and use of a certified EHR to submit clinical quality and other measures.
• The official web site for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs
• Overview of EHR Incentive Programs
• American EHR Partners discusses the incentive programs
• Meaningful Use info from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
• Certified health IT product list
• EHR Adoption and Health Care Reform (PDF)