On February 23, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced that more than 21,000 providers initiated registration for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs in January and four states reported initial Medicaid incentive payments totaling $20,425,550. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs were enacted by Congress under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”). In addition, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) announced that as of Feb. 11, 2011, more than 45,000 providers requested information or registration help from 62 Regional Extension Centers (RECs). RECs provide hands-on support for providers who want to adopt and become meaningful users of electronic health information technology. According to CMS, this early interest in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR programs reveals strong support for these programs that will advance health care through improvements in patient safety, quality of care, and patient involvement in treatment options.

Eligible professionals and hospitals must register in order to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. Registration opened on Jan. 3, 2011.

Providers and business associates may go to the following websites to learn more about the Medicare and Medicaid EHR financial incentives and Meaningful Use requirements, including Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”):