On February 23, 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 HITECH. In addition, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced that as of February 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 electronic health record (EHR) programs reveals strong support for these programs that will advance healthcare 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 January 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 (FAQs):