HHS announces the specifics of large incentive distribution

According to a recent announcement issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), federal Medicaid and Medicare payouts for the meaningful use of medical technology are being issued on a large scale.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius cited details from a survey undertaken by the American Hospital Association while visiting the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley Health Science Institute on February 17 that confirmed the availability of these benefits. In her speech, she stated that more than $3 billion have been received by roughly 2,000 facilities and 40,000 individual physicians that have achieved the government's meaningful use requirements to date.

Moreover, Sebelius said that the healthcare IT adoption rate has risen to 35 percent of U.S. hospitals, up from the 16 percent recorded two years ago. In total, 85 percent of U.S. hospitals reported intentions to transition to methods of electronically-based patient care by 2015 if the facility has not already done so.

Sebelius' announcement also included statistics from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which distributed more than $500 million to eligible healthcare providers in January 2012 alone.

"Health IT is the foundation for a truly 21st century health system where we pay for the right care, not just more care," Sebelius said. "Health care 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."

Small facility managers looking to attain a portion of those federal incentive dollars should consider deploying the services of certified medical technology consultants who can help optimize a practice's electronic infrastructure. By taking this measure, facilities may qualify for large incentive sums that can be used to enhance the quality of care afforded to patients

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.