FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2008
Contact: CMS Office of Media Affairs
30 Applicants for Electronic Health Record Demonstration Project
Selected Communities to be Announced in Early June; Participating Docs Will Receive Incentives for Using EHRs to Improve Quality of Care
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today applauded the more than 30 communities that have applied for a new demonstration project that will provide Medicare incentive payments to primary care physician practices that use certified electronic health records (EHR) to improve the quality of patient care.
“This is an outstanding response from communities and, in some cases, entire states. It shows the great appetite for programs that offer incentives to physicians who efficiently use EHRs to improve the quality of care they provide to their patients,” Secretary Leavitt said. “I congratulate the applicants for their energy and vision in seizing this opportunity to help transform the way health care is delivered in our nation.”
The EHR demonstration project is expected to reduce medical errors and improve the quality of care for an estimated 3.6 million Americans. Over a five-year period, financial incentives will be provided to as many as 1,200 small- to medium-sized physician practices in 12 communities for using certified EHRs to improve quality, as measured by their performance on specific clinical quality measures. Additional bonus payments will be available, based on a standardized survey measuring the number of EHR functionalities incorporated by the physician practice. Total payments under the demonstration for all five years may be up to $58,000 per physician or up to $290,000 per practice.
In recent months, Secretary Leavitt, Deputy Secretary Tevi Troy, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Kerry Weems have visited communities across the U.S. to promote participation in the demonstration project. They met with key stakeholders, including local health care providers and medical associations, health plans, consumers, elected officials, and business leaders, urging them to work together in applying for the EHR demonstration project. During the visits, communities were also encouraged to enhance existing or planned private sector projects related to health information technology and quality reporting initiatives.
“By implementing this demonstration in a dozen health markets across the country, we’ll help move this nation toward a system that delivers better quality health care at lower cost for more Americans,” Acting Administrator Weems said. “I commend the communities that have applied for the project – their efforts signify a step toward greater understanding of their local heath care information technology needs and capabilities.”
The 12 EHR community partners will be announced in early June. CMS then will begin working with community partners to recruit small- and medium-sized primary care physician practices to take part in the demonstration. Four of the participating communities will begin recruitment in fall of 2008, and the remaining eight will begin in 2009.
The EHR demonstration project is a major step toward the President’s goal of most Americans having access to a secure, interoperable electronic health record by 2014. For more information about the EHR demonstration project, visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/DemoProjectsEvalRpts/downloads/2008_Electronic_Health_Records_Demonstration.pdf.
This initiative is also part of HHS’ bold vision for health care reform built on the four cornerstones of value-driven health care. These include: adopting interoperable health information technology; measuring and publishing quality information to enable consumers to make better decisions about their providers and treatment options; measuring and publishing price information to give consumers information they need to make decisions on purchasing health care; and promoting incentives for high-quality, efficient delivery of care. To learn more about Connecting to Better Health Care, please visit http://archive.hhs.gov/secretary/connecthealthcare/.
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Last revised: May 7, 2011