Early Results of the Meaningful Use Program for Electronic Health Records

In 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act established Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs to encourage the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by hospitals and eligible professionals. Under Medicare, eligible professionals who show “meaningful use” of certified EHRs are eligible for payments up to $44,000, whereas eligible professionals who do not are subject to penalties after 2015. We calculated attestation rates according to state, specialty, EHR vendor, and month by combining data on attestations of meaningful use between April 2011 and May 2012 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, estimates of the number of eligible professionals from the Government Accountability Office, and data on the number of physicians according to state and specialty from the American Medical Association. Our results suggest rapid growth in the number of providers achieving meaningful use, although this pace must accelerate for most eligible professionals to avoid penalties in 2015.

Citation: Wright A, Henkin S, Feblowitz J, McCoy AB, Bates DW, Sittig DF. Early Results of the Meaningful Use Program for Electronic Health Records. N Engl J Med. 2013;368:779-780.

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New England Journal of Medicine