Wednesday, August 04, 2010

CMS Awards WV Medicaid $945K Federal Matching Funds for EHR Incentive Programs

iHealthBeat reports that West Virginia Medicaid along with five other states will receive federal matching funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS)to help implement electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs.

West Virginia Medicaid will receive $945,000 in federal matching funds. The CMS press release indicates that West Virginia will use the funds for planning activities that include conducting a comprehensive analysis to determine the current status of HIT activities in the state. The funds will be used to gather information on issues such as existing barriers to its use of EHRs, provider eligibility for EHR incentive payments, and the creation of a State Medicaid HIT Plan.

The CMS press release states:
WEST VIRGINIA TO RECEIVE FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS FOR ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORD INCENTIVES PROGRAM

In another key step to further states’ role in developing a robust U.S. health information technology (HIT) infrastructure, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that West Virginia’s Medicaid program will receive federal matching funds for state planning activities necessary to implement the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). West Virginia will receive approximately $945,000 in federal matching funds.

EHRs will improve the quality of health care for the citizens of West Virginia and make their care more efficient. The records make it easier for the many providers who may be treating a Medicaid patient to coordinate care. Additionally, EHRs make it easier for patients to access the information they need to make decisions about their health care.

The Recovery Act provides a 90 percent federal match for state planning activities to administer the incentive payments to Medicaid providers, to ensure their proper payments through audits and to participate in statewide efforts to promote interoperability and meaningful use of EHR technology statewide and, eventually, across the nation.

“We congratulate West Virginia for qualifying for these federal matching funds to assist its plan for implementing the Recovery Act’s EHR incentive program,” said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations at CMS. “Meaningful and interoperable use of EHRs in Medicaid will increase health care efficiency, reduce medical errors and improve quality-outcomes and patient satisfaction within and across the states.”

West Virginia will use its federal matching funds for planning activities that include conducting a comprehensive analysis to determine the current status of HIT activities in the state. As part of that process, West Virginia will gather information on issues such as existing barriers to its use of EHRs, provider eligibility for EHR incentive payments, and the creation of a State Medicaid HIT Plan, which will define the state’s vision for its long-term HIT use.

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