Four states net CMS EHR incentive funds

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted Medicaid programs in Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Dakota and Ohio federal matching funds for state planning activities necessary to implement the EHR incentive program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

EHRs will improve the quality of healthcare by making it easier for the many providers who may be treating a Medicaid patient to coordinate care. In addition, EHRs make it easier for patients to access information they need to make decisions about their healthcare, according to CMS.

ARRA provides a 90 percent federal match for state planning activities to administer the incentive payments to Medicaid providers, to ensure their payments through audits and to participate in statewide efforts to promote interoperability and meaningful use of EHR technology statewide and, eventually, across the U.S.

Hawaii will receive approximately $836,000 in federal matching funds, Massachusetts will receive approximately $3.56 million, North Dakota will receive approximately $226,000, and Ohio will receive approximately $2.29 million.

Matching funds will be used for planning activities that include conducting a comprehensive analysis to determine the current status of health IT activities in each state. As part of that process, states will gather information on issues such as existing barriers to use of EHRs, provider eligibility for EHR incentive payments and the creation of a State Medicaid Healthcare IT Plan, which will define the state’s vision for its long-term healthcare IT use.

Click here for more information about implementation of the Medicaid-related provisions of the Recovery Act’s EHR incentive payment program.