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The “Meaningful Use” Regulation for Electronic Health Records

How practices are qualifing for incentives

The U.S. healthcare industry that is undergoing much change and an increase in government regulation. Many of these government regulations focus on modernizing the industry through the implementation of technology, thereby improving the quality of healthcare and access to health information.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 includes $20 billion in provisions to drive adoption and meaningful use of certified EMR systems. This includes up to $44k for each doctor qualifying for the Medicare EMR Incentive Program. This funding can help offset some of the cost of an EMR system, but from 2013 onward, Medicare incentive amounts will decrease annually until 2016 when the program ends.

Even if your practice already has an EMR system or you are now looking into one, it is recommended that you work with a technology partner who has experience helping practices improve productivity and better connect information, people, and processes.

  • In 2011, 52% of physicians said they intend to apply for Medicare or Medicaid EMR incentive payments, a 26% increase from 2010.
  • Between 2008 and 2011, EMR adoption by physicians doubled from 17% to 34%, with adoption among primary care doctors nearly doubling during this period from 20% to 39%.
  • About 34% of physicians reported having a basic EMR system in 2011, a 36% increase from 2010.


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