Meaningful Use Payments Jump in November

The meaningful use program continues to build steam as the number of professionals and hospitals registering and attesting continues to grow. Last month nearly 19,000 professionals and hospitals registered to participate in the program, raising the total of enrolled individuals and organizations to more than 157,000.

The Office of E-Health Standards and Services reported the numbers at a December 7 meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee. The data are preliminary; CMS expects to release final numbers for the month on December 13. (This article was updated December 19 with final numbers.)

Registration Tops 157,000

More than 157,000 professionals and hospitals had registered for the program through November, according to OESS. Of those, the majority are EPs registered for the Medicare program (114,925, or 73 percent). Approximately 40,000 EPs are registered for the Medicaid program.

Nearly 2,900 hospitals had registered through November. More than 90 percent are registered for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs; hospitals can register for both programs without committing to attesting to each.

Payments Rising Steadily

One measure of successful attestations is incentive payments. Payments jumped significantly in November after having risen on a strong curve over a six-month period.

Nearly 7,000 providers received payments in November, up  from 4,160 in October and 1,168 in June. Payments in the Medicare program began in May of this year, and Medicaid payments in some states were available in January.

OESS reports that 22,636 professionals and hospitals have received more than $1.8 billion year-to-date. One-third of that money was paid in November. The share of payments through the Medicare and Medicaid programs was nearly equal.

Eligible professionals have until February 29, 2012, to register and attest to receive an incentive payment for calendar year 2011. Hospitals had until November 30 to receive a payment for federal fiscal year 2011 under the Medicare program.
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  1. The Long Term Care facilities that are self standing and also those Not for Profit, need a great deal of assistance with the transition. Long Term Care is actually an extention of the hospitals and are caring for some very ill residents that leave the hospitals but still need skilled nursing care. The continuity of care is just as important in the LTC facility as it is in the hospitals.Long Term Care is highly regulated but the financial support is not as supportive as hospitals. This does not make sense. Our seniors needs are great and need to be reimbursed more appropriately and on a more timely basis. Thank You

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  2. Thank you Priscilla. Well said. Long-term care facilities that are owned by individuals or small companies struggle with inadequate reimbursement and do not have the resources to implement an electronic record. The residents in long-term care facilities have contributed to society and deserve our support now.

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