- HHS has met its 2013 goal of EHR implementation.
- Over half of all eligible providers and over eighty percent of hospitals use EHRs.
- More than 291,000 EPs and more than 3,800 eligible hospitals received incentive payments from the federal government.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that HHS has already met and exceeded its 2013 goal of EHR implementation. With significant incentives from the federal government, more than half of all eligible providers (EPs) and over eighty percent of eligible hospitals nationwide are demonstrating meaningful use of electronic medical records (EHRs). This is a considerable increase in just five years. According to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, the percent of physicians using an advanced EHR system was pegged at 17 percent in 2008, while hospitals, only just 9 percent had adopted the technology. In a statement, Secretary Sebelius said, “We have reached a tipping point in adoption of electronic health records. Health IT helps providers better coordinate care, which can improve patients’ health and save money at the same time.” Electronic medical records play a vital role in President Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act. Powerful incentives were made available for EPs to offset some of the initial costs. More than fifty percent of eligible physicians have capitalized by taking advantage of this subsidy. Some of the broader goals of the ACA are to improve care coordination, reduce duplicative tests and procedures, and reward hospitals and physicians for keeping patients healthier, all of which are supported by widespread use of EHRs.