Millions Still Available in Meaningful Use Incentives for Radiologists

The HITECH Act, included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, provides financial incentives for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology, but it has only paid out less than 1% of available funds to radiologists. Each eligible provider has the opportunity to receive up to $44,000 for achieving Meaningful Use before 2015 – which adds up to a total of $1.5 billion in incentive payments.

In order to receive all incentives, Meaningful Use must begin by October 3, 2012 – just about three weeks away.  Currently, only 600 radiologists have successfully attested to Stage 1 Meaningful Use, which equates to little more than $10 million in incentive dollars. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and HHS Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) released final rules for Stage 1 and implemented the new Stage 2 requirements on August 23, 2012.  In a press release from the ACR, Keith J. Dreyer, DO, PhD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) IT and Informatics Committee said, “CMS and ONC publicly released their final rules on an unusually aggressive timeline. Our hope is that these regulations do not sacrifice the needs of specialists and our patients for the sake of expediency.”

With so few radiologists who have currently attested to Stage 1 and an aggressive timeframe in place, there is concern in the radiology world.  What has your group done to prepare?  What has helped?

See the ACR press release for more information.

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