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Government Accountability Office, Electronic Health Records: First Year of CMS's Incentive Programs Shows Opportunities to Improve Processes to Verify Providers Met Requirements (GAO-12-481) (Apr. 30, 2012) (full-text).
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH Act) established the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health records (EHR) programs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the states administer these programs which began in 2011 to promote the meaningful use of EHR technology through incentive payments paid to certain providers — that is, hospitals and health care professionals. Spending for the programs is estimated to total $30 billion from 2011 through 2019. Consistent with the HITECH Act, GAO (1) examined efforts by CMS and the states to verify whether providers qualify to receive EHR incentive payments and (2) examined information reported to CMS by providers to demonstrate meaningful use in the first year of the Medicare EHR program.
The GAO made four recommendations to CMS in order to improve processes to verify whether providers met program requirements for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR programs, including opportunities for efficiencies.