There’s more data to be captured from this recent report in Healthcare IT News,  but you have to consider the move to electronic medical records a real success and with current economic times the figures show the support of the government has been a tremendous asset.

November showed a large increase in the number of hospitals attest and get paid.  It appears that another billion may be on track for the month of December.  This means overall more are taking the plunge and moving over to the electronic world and we all know that having patient information and history is invaluable.  The regional REC centers established by the ONC were also a great help for physicians as there are a large number of choices out there today and helping weed through the process for doctors has proven to be a real asset.  image

One other item mentioned in the report is the education gap with consumers with very few patients know they can get a copy of their electronic medical record and when you look at the number of patients compared to the number of doctors, that might serve to state that there’s a much larger group to educate and thus it serves to lag behind.

The final months of the year include a push to attest so they can be counted for the year 2012.  Meaningful use as we all know is being introduced in stages.  Big statistics with hospitals in the fact that 65% of eligible facilities have attested so there’s a lot of work in progress.  You can’t help but think about how slow the uptake of electronic medical records would have been without the help of the government to move it along.

Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive  payments are estimated to have reached $9.245 billion to 177,100 physicians and hospitals through November since the program’s inception and are anticipated to reach $10 billion by the end of the year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will post final figures later this month as it captures more data.

During November, CMS estimated that paid 8,250 Medicare eligible physicians $150 million and 4,000 Medicaid physicians $73 million and hospitals under either of the programs $645 million, for a total of $868 million, according to Robert Anthony, a specialist in CMS’ Office of eHealth Standards and Services.