The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in September paid out $25 million to 1400 eligible providers and $61 million to 30 dually eligible hospitals under the meaningful use EHR incentive program, according to Robert Anthony from the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Services.
Anthony made the announcement at the Oct. 12 meeting of the HIT Policy Committee.
Since the MU program began Jan. 1, 2011, CMS has paid out $870 million in incentives. “We are well on track to pay out $1 billion by the end of this year,” he said.
In September, 17,000 additional eligible providers registered for the MU program – a 70 percent increase over August, Anthony added.
To date, 114,000 providers – including both hospitals and eligible providers – have registered for the program, he said.
Though registration has increased, the numbers for success vary. At the time of the September analysis, 8,397 eligible providers had attested to achieving meaningful use, with only 8,001 verified by CMS to have done so successfully.
There was more success on the hospital side, with 302 hospitals attesting and all of them verified by CMS as successful.
Despite what he said appears to be “good news” regarding the program, Anthony said he “is leery to draw conclusions.”
The statistics CMS has currently collected on successful meaningful use compliance is drawn from some 8,000 MU eligible provider data, “a small sample size,” he said.
There are some 550,000 total eligible providers in the nation and 5,100 hospitals. A little less than half of hospitals are participating, he said. But 8,000 eligible providers out of 550,000 is very small amount, he said.
Anthony called the CMS data, “the earliest of the earliest” information.
All the thresholds have exceeded what CMS thought might happen this year, Anthony said. “This is somewhat expected, because most of those we have are the early [electronic health record] adopters, but there were some on the borderline as well,” he said.
Anthony said CMS is conducting surveys to find out why eligible providers who have registered for meaningful use have not yet attested to having achieved meaningful use.