CMS and ONC yesterday posted a joint fact sheet breaking down progress made to date in health IT adoption since the passing of the HITECH Act. The fact sheet includes the latest EHR adoption number for eligible professionals and hospitals as well as rates of e-prescribing.
Highlights from the fact sheet:
- Hospital Participation: More than 85 percent of eligible hospitals are participating in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, and more than 75 percent have received incentive payments for meaningfully using EHR technology as of March 2013.
- More than 388,000 of the nation’s eligible professionals have registered to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, representing 73 percent of all providers eligible to participate. More than 230,000, or 44 percent of all eligible professionals, have received an EHR incentive payment for meaningfully using EHR technology as of March 2013.
CMS has reported a significant decrease in the hospital readmission rate of Medicare patients returning to the hospital after being discharged, attributing the decrease in part to health IT adoption.
- Office-based physicians’ use of e-prescribing has increased from 0.8 percent in December 2006 to 53 percent through January 2013, and more than 94 percent of all pharmacies are now actively e-prescribing.
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 50,000 health IT-related jobs have been created since HITECH was enacted.
- As of February 2013, the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs have paid $12.6 billion in incentives to hospitals, doctors, and other health care professionals.
Going forward, the agencies spell out their priorities including:
- Setting the goal of 50 percent of physician offices using EHRs and 80 percent of eligible hospitals receiving meaningful use incentive payments for using EHR technology by year end.
- Increasing emphasis on promoting and achieving wide spread interoperability.
- Continued promotion and development of the Blue Button Initiative.
- Implementation of Stage 2 Meaningful Use
Finally, the fact sheet addresses potential fraud in the EHR incentive payment program with CMS’ implementation of an audit process for eligible professionals and hospitals adopting certified EHR technology and attesting to meaningful use.