Hospital payments escalated to more than double from October through December 2011 exceeding $1.9 billion, through the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health-record (EHR) system incentive programs, as reported by CMS’s latest monthly report. Both physicians and other eligible professional’s payments also increased 99% during the same period to nearly $570.4 million.
According to CMS the program had 176,049 active registrants by the end of December, however final participation numbers won’t be available until later this year, as the period for eligible professionals didn’t end until 31st December, and they have 60 days beyond that to compile their data and submit applications for payment.
US States ramping up in view of EHR
Even as 43 states have launched Medicaid EHR incentive payment programs so far, Colorado and Kansas being the newest additions, as noted by CMS, 33 states currently are making payments and some of the country’s most populous states—Illinois, California, New York and New Jersey—are “ramping up” their programs and will be ready to make payments soon.
In Kansas at least 3 hospitals have received the first available incentive payments – more over 12 hospitals have attested that they meet the meaningful-use requirements and should be receiving payments soon.
In view of the prevailing scenario, hospitals and physicians’ practices that were reluctant to join the EHR program are now familiarized with the efficiency and advantages of transferring to electronic form. Besides being eligible for incentives – Improvement in patient care, higher output and turnaround time, increased data storage, improved revenue cycle are few of the various benefits physicians can acquire in running their practices with adoption of EHR.
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Hospitals looking for the most favorable path
From the data procured by CMS 98% were eligible professionals; 2% were hospitals, however around 75% of eligible professionals receiving payments – 10,530 being physicians. Putting the figures into perspective, there are 565,024 office-based physicians in the U.S., according to the American Medical Association, and 5,754 hospitals, according to the American Hospital Association, hence a large number of remaining hospitals and physicians are still to participate and qualify for the EHR program incentive.
Hence, as more hospitals and practitioners matching hospitals already eligible to receive payments, will look to register for the incentive program will face the – decision on choosing an apt EHR, changes in billing system, besides other changes, but with their time resource being limited & dedicated majorly on patient care, such decisions are difficult and at times repenting. However, services of skilled service providers possessing the requisite credentials can be availed by hospitals and practitioners.
Medicalbillersandcoders.com experts being constantly updated with the requisites of the industry and healthcare reforms are the right choice for hospitals and practices transiting to EHR programs. Our team trained on ARRA 2009, ICD 9, ICD -10, HIPAA 5010 an practicing handling Revenue Management Cycle for various clients, are highly motivated to provide you with the right course of action to take in the current challenging healthcare industry – right from EHR selection, increased data collection, increased patient registration right up to denial claims management.