Medical informatics incentive payments total more than $4 billion

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More than 76,000 physicians and healthcare facilities have been awarded a total of $4.5 billion for participating in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) meaningful use incentive program, reports Healthcare IT News.

Medical informatics becoming standard in healthcare IT

The figures indicate that adoption and use of medical informatics technology are becoming increasingly important to clinicians across the country. The news source reports that the states with the highest levels of medical informatics adoption and meaningful use attestation are California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and New York.

Officials from the CMS also predict that many organizations beyond the initial Medicare first-adopters will register or attest to meaningful use of clinical informatics systems this year.

According to official data from the CMS, more than $1.3 billion was paid to eligible professionals under the Medicare program alone from May to December of last year. Figures from the CMS also indicate that more than 176,000 clinicians and healthcare facilities are registered in the medical informatics meaningful use incentive program across the country.

Marketplace becoming more competitive

Despite strong indications that clinical informatics usage is rising, some experts have observed struggles experienced by some vendors. According to a report published by IDC Health Insights, adoption of medical informatics systems is expected to reach 80 percent by 2016, placing electronic health record (EHR) developers under additional pressure to compete in an already crowded marketplace.

“The magnitude of the commitment that these EHR vendors need to make to produce functionality that both supports the operations of a practice and allows them to participate in meaningful use projects is fairly great and I think I saw some vendors struggle under that burden while others seem to thrive,” Judy Hanover, research director at IDC Health Insights, told Information Week.