Docs received $3.1 billion in meaningful use incentive payments

The number of hospitals using health information technology (HIT) has more than doubled in the last two years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday. 

Nearly 2,000 hospitals and more than 41,000 doctors have received $3.1 billion in incentive payments for ensuring "meaningful use" of HIT, particularly certified electronic health records (EHR), according to the HHS announcement.

Skilled nursing providers were left out of the meaningful use incentive program, which provides financial incentives for the use of EHR technology in achieving health and efficiency goals, funded by the HITECH Act in 2009.

“Health IT is the foundation for a truly 21st century health system where we pay for the right care, not just more care,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “Healthcare professionals and hospitals are taking advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to begin using smarter, new technology that improves care and creates the jobs we need for an economy built to last.”

HHS also reported that 85 percent of U.S. hospitals expect to enter the meaningful use incentive program by 2015.

Topics: Technology & IT