Disbursement of federal health IT incentives tops $7 billion

Payments have been distributed through Medicare and Medicaid.

Federal funds continue to benefit health-care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records. As of September, incentive programs have distributed more than $3.9 billion through Medicare, $3.5 billion through Medicaid, according to figures provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Providers in 16 states had received more than $151 million in incentive payments (as of Aug. 31): California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

A number of states had received less than $50 million during that time period: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming. 

Florida, which has a large retiree population, led the way in Medicare payments at $307.5 million, as of Sept. 30. Alaska, which ranks 47th out of 50 states in population, was at the bottom, with only $1.99 million in Medicare incentive payments as of Sept. 30.

In terms of combined Medicare and Medicaid payments, California leads all states, with $637.6 million in total payments, according to CMS. Florida is second in the combined total, at $525.8 million – far outpacing No. 3 Illinois, with $258.8 million in payments. Idaho had $15.1 million in combined incentive payments, least among states. Its Medicaid incentive payment has been active since summer.

The first states began running Medicaid EHR incentive programs in January 2011. As of the end of September, 45 states were operating such a program, according to CMS. Medicare EHR incentive programs began in May 2011.