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Physicians Using EHRs Will Get Medicare Bonus (Updated)

Yesterday's online edition of the Congressional Quarterly included an announcement that Medicare will spend some additional money on physicians deploying EHR technology:

The Bush administration announced on Tuesday a new program providing bonuses to doctors using electronic health records — part of a broader push that may yet include new legislation by year’s end.

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt said that the new program will provide through Medicare about $150 million extra over five years to physicians in selected areas who replace paper medical records with electronic versions. The announcement marks the latest in a series of efforts by the government to encourage the adoption of what is known as health information technology, or health IT, since President Bush issued an executive order creating an office to supervise the issue in 2004. There has also been some recent progress on health IT bills in both the House and Senate.

Read more here.

Update (12:24p) According to a CMS press release, the icentive payments will apparently be limited to certain areas, of which New York is not one.

The communities selected to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the EHR demonstration project range from county- and state- level to multi-state collaborations. They include:

Jacksonville, FL (multi-county)
Maryland/Washington, DC
Pittsburgh, PA (multi-county)
South Dakota (multi-state)
Madison, WI (multi-county)

The press release is here.

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