KHI News Service

Kansas Medicaid HIT incentives total $25.2 million

By KHI NEWS SERVICE | October 08, 2012

Nearly $25.2 million in Medicaid incentive payments have been awarded to 463 Kansas doctors and 31 hospitals for implementing electronic health record systems in the first six months of a federal program, officials at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced today.

KDHE Secretary Dr. Robert Moser said that the doctors and hospitals implementing the electronic health records (EHRs) through the incentive program are helping improve health care delivery.

"Compared to paper records, EHRs improve the protection of patient information and enhance the coordination of care as providers are able to access more quickly complete information about a patient’s health," Moser said. "EHRs benefit everyone involved — the patient, the family and the provider, especially during times when every second counts."

The incentive payments were made available by the federal economic stimulus law passed in 2009 for health care providers whose electronic health record systems meet certain federal standards.

The payments were first available in 2011 to providers of Medicare or Medicaid services.

The first Medicaid-based incentive payments in Kansas were made in March.

Kansas doctors started receiving similar Medicare-based incentives in May 2011, and hospitals began receiving the Medicare bonus payments in October 2011.

KDHE officials said hospitals and providers that have implemented or upgraded electronic health record systems in 2012 can still apply online for incentives.

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