CCHIT: Momentum building in EHR incentive funding

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The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has found that momentum is building behind incentives for physicians to adopt EHRs in their medical practices.

In the commission’s first search for programs that have sprung up to subsidize physician adoption of health IT over the past two years, the commission found 90 initiatives in the public and private sectors.

The 90 programs in the CCHIT Incentive Index catalog represent at least $700 million in potential funding for EHR software and implementation costs. Of those programs:

  • 50 have been launched by hospital organizations in response to federal “safe harbor” regulations announced in 2006. Under those rules, hospitals can subsidize up to 85 percent of certain costs for physicians to acquire, implement and maintain EHRs which are CCHIT certified for their offices; and
  • 40 incentive programs are being offered by government agencies, insurance plans, employer coalitions and public-private partnerships, of which 20 explicitly call for CCHIT-certified technology.

“As we dug deeper to research the real impacts of certification, the results surprised us, as we found many more incentive programs—and more funding—to be available than we expected at this point,” said Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD, CCHIT chair. “Although we started our first certification in ambulatory care just two and a half years ago, we’re already seeing evidence of a major redirection of investment toward adoption of EHRs in that setting.”