Today, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the number of hospitals using electronic health records has more than doubled in the last two years, the Kansas City Star reports.
Sebelius delivered her announcement after touring the Health Science Institute at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2010, the institute opened a 'virtual hospital' to help train students studying health care and health IT (Stafford, Kansas City Star, 2/17).
Details of Announcement
An HHS release cites information from a new American Hospital Association survey finding that the percentage of U.S. hospitals that have adopted EHRs increased from 16% in 2009 to 35% in 2011. The survey also found that about 85% of hospitals now plan to seek incentive payments through the meaningful use program.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments.
The release also states that new CMS data show that $3.12 billion in incentive payments have been distributed to physicians, hospitals and other health care providers through the meaningful use program (HHS release, 2/17).
In addition, the release notes that projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that the number of health IT jobs nationwide is expected to increase by 20% between 2008 and 2018 (Kansas City Star, 2/17).