The nation’s healthcare system is undergoing a transformation in an effort to improve quality, safety and efficiency of care, from the upgrade to ICD-10 to information exchanges of EHR technology. To help facilitate this vision, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the "HITECH Act" established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the "meaningful use" of certified EHR technology. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The programs begin in 2011. These incentive programs are designed to support providers in this period of Health IT transition and instill the use of EHRs in meaningful ways to help our nation to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient health care.
NOTE: This is a new program, and it is separate from other active CMS incentive programs, such as Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), Reporting Hospital Quality Data for Annual Payment Update (RHQDAPU) and e-Prescribing.