Physicians continue to lag hospitals in EHR Meaningful Use Program: CMS March Stats

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program March 2012 Report summarizes almost $4.5B paid out from the inception of the program through the end of March 2012.   The number of Eligible Professionals (EP’s) registered for the program increased only slightly from 40% at the end of February to 43% at the end of March.

However, the number of Eligible Hospitals (EH’s) registered for the EHR Incentive program is now 70%.  EH’s are on a track to make the 75% participation goal set by the Department of Health & Human Services.

The majority of EH’s registered in the program also received payments under the program.  The vast majority of these payments were to hospitals registered for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs

Of the 521,600 EP’s covered by the program, only 14% have received payments to date.  EP’s are eligible for either the Medicare or Medicaid program but not both. Of the EP’s receiving payments, 60% were in the Medicare program and 40% were in the Medicaid program.

EHR payment program totals by month are shown below for both EP’s and EH’s.  Only Medicaid payments were made until May of 2011 when Medicare payments started.  The EH payments dropped in January reflecting the end of the EH reporting year in December.  The EP reporting year ended in March.

Specialties receiving payments under the EHR Incentive Program are broken out only for the EP’s receiving payments for Medicare.  Of the 44,014 EP’s receiving payments under the Medicare program through the end of March 2012, there is little change in the distribution from previously monthly reports with 51% of the money shared by family practitioners, internists, and cardiologists.