On Wednesday, CMS officials said that an estimated $8.36 billion in meaningful use incentive payments had been distributed to 165,800 eligible hospitals and health care providers through the end of October, Government Health IT reports.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
The update was announced during a Health IT Policy Committee meeting. CMS is expected to publish the final October meaningful use figures later this month.
Update on Meaningful Use Payments, Registration
CMS officials said that during October, the agency paid out $645 million in incentive payments, which included:
- $435 million in Medicare incentive payments distributed to eligible physicians and hospitals; and
- $210 million in Medicaid incentive payments distributed to eligible physicians and hospitals (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 11/9).
CMS estimated that approximately 400 hospitals accounted for $480 million -- or 75% -- of all meaningful use payments made last month (Murphy, EHR Intelligence, 11/7).
In addition, CMS officials estimated that:
- More than 60% of Medicare- and Medicaid-eligible hospitals have qualified for meaningful use incentive payments; and
- Nearly 22% of Medicare-eligible health care providers have qualified for meaningful use incentive payments (Ruoff, Bloomberg BNA, 11/8).
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;
- Drug formularies; and
- Clinical laboratory results.
The transitions of care menu objective was among the least popular for both groups (Government Health IT, 11/9).