The Electronic Health Records (EHR) incentive program is a means of compensating healthcare providers for the costs associated with implementing and upgrading their EHR software. EHR software is a useful tool that allows for better standardization and accessibility of important health records for patients nationwide. The EHR incentive program is available to eligible hospitals and providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology over the course of the next five to ten years.
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Benefits of EHR Software
EHR vendors have created helpful platforms that provide a variety of highly relevant databases and tools for healthcare providers. This software provides an integrated way for providers to manage all patient information, order tests, track individualized care plans and more.
EHR Incentive Program
The incentive program provides an annual payout to healthcare providers who adopt EHR into their practices. This payout helps providers meet the costs of upgrading their technology and gives them an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve. The amount of payout depends on the type of facility that is applying for the incentive, and is also dependent on their ability to meet the meaningful use criteria set forth.
The meaningful use requirements for the EHR program are broken down into three stages which are measured with 10 direct objectives. The first stage of the program is the basic implementation of the software itself. The second stage is about translating the software into a useful and well integrated tool within the healthcare practice. The final stage of meaningful use is a demonstration of the improved efficiency and accuracy of the healthcare provider through the use of EHR.
Each stage has 10 specific objectives that can be tested and proven. Upon completion of each stage, providers must attest to the proper adherence to the EHR program requirements in order to qualify for the incentives. In the first year, they must only have 90 consecutive days of successful EHR implementation, and then each subsequent year will require 100% EHR compliance.
Overall, the EHR incentive is a way for healthcare providers to provide a better service to their patients at a reduced cost to themselves. The program offers small offices the same opportunity as large scale hospitals to stay up to date with changes in technology within the healthcare industry. The use of EHR is intended to create a more complete health profile for patients and ultimately lead to better treatment options long term. As a whole, the EHR incentive is a step toward a more accurate and well designed healthcare system for everyone.