On Wednesday, CMS officials provided an update on the meaningful use program, saying that about $7.7 billion in incentive payments had been distributed as of last month, Government Health IT reports.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
The officials offered the update during the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's Government Health IT Virtual Briefing.
Update on Meaningful Use Registration, Payments
CMS officials estimated that nearly 50% of eligible professionals and nearly 81% of eligible hospitals had registered for the meaningful use program as of September.
They noted that the approximately $7.7 billion in meaningful use incentive payments distributed as of September includes about:
- $4.8 billion in incentive payments to eligible hospitals;
- $1.4 billion in Medicare incentive payments to eligible health care professionals; and
- $1.2 billion in Medicaid incentive payments to eligible professionals;
Update on Menu Objectives
According to CMS officials, the most common menu objectives selected by eligible health care professionals during the meaningful use attestation process are those related to:
- Drug formularies;
- Immunization registries; and
- Patient lists.
The most common menu objectives selected by eligible hospitals are those related to:
- Advance directives;
- Clinical laboratory results; and
- Drug formularies.
CMS officials said that the patient reminders menu objective was among the least popular for eligible professionals and that the syndromic surveillance menu objective was among the least popular for eligible hospitals. The transitions of care menu objective was among the least popular for both groups.
Elizabeth Shinberg Holland, director of CMS' Health IT Initiatives Group, said that CMS found it "a little concerning" that the least popular menu objectives are related to interoperability (Brino, Government Health IT, 10/17).