Excerpt from Secretary Leavitt's announcement:
For more info check out the HHS Press Release.
“This demonstration is designed to show that streamlining health care management with electronic health records will reduce medical errors and improve quality of care for 3.6 million Americans. By linking higher payment to use of EHRs to meet quality measures, we will encourage adoption of health information technology at the community level, where 60 percent of patients receive care,” Secretary Leavitt said. “We also anticipate that EHRs will produce significant savings for Medicare over time by improving quality of care. This is another step in our ongoing effort to become a smart purchaser of health care -- paying for better, rather than simply paying for more.”
Conducted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the demonstration would be open to participation by up to 1,200 physician practices beginning in the spring. Over a five-year period, the program will provide financial incentives to physician groups using certified EHRs to meet certain clinical quality measures. A bonus will be provided each year based on a physician group’s score on a standardized survey that assesses the specific EHR functions a group employs to support the delivery of care.
The CMS demonstration also will help advance Secretary Leavitt’s efforts to shift health care in the U.S. toward a system based on value. The Department is working to effect change through its Value-Driven Health Care initiative, which is based on Four Cornerstones: interoperable electronic health records, public reporting of provider quality information, public reporting of cost information, and incentives for value comparison.
Thanks to the Medicare Update blog for a tip on this new project.