Hospitals, Doctors, Adopting HIT At Increasing Levels

The number of hospitals using health information technology (IT) has more than doubled in the last two years, according to a report from the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the American Hospital Association. Nearly 2,000 hospitals and more than 41,000 doctors have received $3.1 billion in incentive payments for ensuring meaningful use of health IT, particularly certified Electronic Health Records (EHR).

The report notes that the percentage of U.S. hospitals that had adopted EHRs has more than doubled from 16 to 35 percent between 2009 and 2011. About 85 percent of hospitals now report that by 2015 they intend to take advantage of the incentive payments made available through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided $3.12 billion in incentive payments to physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers who have started to meaningfully use EHRs to improve the quality of patient care. In January alone, CMS provided $519 million to eligible providers. EHR incentive payments to health care professionals can total as much as $44,000 under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and $63,750 under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.