At the December 9, 2014 meeting of the ONC’s Health IT Policy Committee, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) presented data on participation and payments in the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program. This data highlights the size and scope of the program.
CMS reported the following total active registration numbers for the EHR Incentive Program through October 2014:
- Medicare eligible professionals: 335,964 (295,499 MDs and DOs)
- Medicaid eligible professionals: 164,912 (106,725 physicians)
- Hospitals: 4,765
To put the hospital number in context, according to data reported on Medicare.gov, 4,861 hospitals are registered with the Medicare program. Although it is difficult to put the eligible professionals numbers in context without more information about participation levels in Medicare generally, it is clear that well over half of active MDs and DOs in the United States are participating in the EHR incentive program.
CMS also reported that the Medicare program has distributed $16.7 billion in incentive payments through October 2014 — $6.5 billion to eligible professionals and $10.2 billion to hospitals. The overwhelming majority of these payments have gone to professionals and hospitals attesting to Stage 1 meaningful use. Specifically, CMS has paid out $16.5 billion in Stage 1 payments and $159 million in Stage 2 payments.