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CMS has paid out $37M in EHR incentives so far

WASHINGTON – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced $37,570,328.55 disbursed under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs so far this year.
The announcement came by Twitter, on Friday morning. “Get your share,” the CMS advised its Twitter followers.
CMS officials said earlier this year it plans to mail incentive checks beginning in May.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) reported last month that some 14,000 eligible providers have registered for the program since it opened Jan. 3, with more flooding in on a daily basis.
[See also: Registrants for federal EHR incentives continue to grow.]
On March 18, CMS updated its EHR incentive program FAQ webpage, answering more than 100 questions about the program, 45 of which are on meaningful use.
The agency has recently been surrounded by controversy over the measurements it proposes to use to qualify providers for incentive payments in 2013 under Stage 2 of the program. Many providers feel the suggested measures are too hard to achieve in the amount of time available.
On Tuesday, a federal advisory workgroup discussed options for slowing down the pace, so providers can qualify, while maintaining the adoption momentum the government would like to achieve.
Despite all the talk of incentive requirements, providers who do not adopt EHRs will face penalties in Medicare payments in 2017.
[See also: Fed advisors tackle Stage 2 recs and timing.]
For more on EHR incentives and other breaking HIT news, follow Diana Manos, Healthcare IT News’ Senior Editor, on Twitter @DManosHFN.

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