Twenty billion dollars.
That’s how much the government estimates it will dole out in incentives to health-care providers before the penalty phase kicks in for those who fail to adopt electronic health records.
So says Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the national coordinator for health IT, according to report published today by Government Health IT. The remark came during Mostashari’s keynote address Wednesday at the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) annual policy summit.
The government had paid out an estimated $6.9 billion in Medicare and Medicaid incentives as of the end of August to providers who had achieved meaningful use of their EHRs, Mostashari reported during a Sept. 6 meeting, according to Government Health IT.
Mostashari also predicted at the HIMSS summit that Congress would keep the EHR incentive program in place regardless of the outcome of the November elections, according to the report.