CMS On Track to Pay Out $1B in EHR Incentive Payments

This may seem like a big number but with $27B allocated to the EHR Incentive program, it is less than 4% of the total incentives allocated.  The program is just getting started.  Currently, payments are scheduled to be complete 4 years from now at the end of 2016. The latest CMS Incentive Program report reflects the slow pace as well.  The report is available here, https://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/EHR_Reg_Rpt.zip as are the prior month’s reports.

Year to date, as of the end of September, CMS reports that 2,396 Eligible Hospitals (EH) and 112,248 Eligible Professionals (EP) had registered for either the Medicare or Medicaid Incentive payments.  Of this group, 564 EH’s and 10,083 EP’s have received incentive payments in either the Medicare or Medicaid program this year.

About 5100 eligible hospitals and 550,000 eligible professionals in the US could enter the program.  20% of the EP’s have registered but only 2% of those registered have received payments.  Hospitals have a more respectable showing with 47% registered and 24% of those registered received payments at the end of September 2011.

The last reporting period for EP’s to qualify for the maximum  Medicare incentive payment of $44,000/physician is October 1, 2012.  The last year for EP’s  to qualify for the Medicare program is 2014 but the maximum incentive drops to $24,000/physician.  Penalties for those EP’s not demonstrating meaningful use start in 2015.