For Immediate Release
March 21, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Kansas Hospitals to Receive First Payments through Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

TOPEKA, Kan. –The first payments to Kansas hospitals eligible under the Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program are scheduled to be made Thursday, March 22. Twenty-three eligible hospitals are collectively receiving $10,433,183.05 for promoting and achieving widespread adoption of Health Information Technology such as EHR, which improves the coordination and delivery of health care services for patients.

The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program offers payments to participating eligible hospitals, eligible providers and critical access hospitals. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Division of Health Care Finance is responsible for issuing these payments through funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Incentive payments will be paid to eligible hospitals over three years.

“Our goal is to improve the quality and coordination of care by connecting providers to patient information at the point of care through the use of electronic health records,” said Aaron Dunkel, KDHE Deputy Secretary. “These first payments under the incentive program score Kansas a significant milestone in our work to improve public health tracking and reporting and the overall standard of care as critical information is securely maintained and accessed by our providers.”

Ten eligible professionals are also receiving payments totaling $212,500. Additional payments will be made as providers complete the application process, with incentive payments being made to eligible professionals over six years. The term “eligible professionals” characterizes physicians (M.D., D.O.), nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, physician assistants and dentists who are enrolled in the Medicaid EHR incentive program. This group includes providers in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and Regional Health Centers (RHC) as well as pediatricians. For eligible professionals, initial payments the first year are based on adoption, implementation or upgrade of certified EHR technology, while subsequent annual payments are based on the meaningful use of the EHR technology. “Meaningful use” means providers need to show they’re using certified EHR technology in ways that can be measured significantly in quality and in quantity.

Because the Kansas Medicaid program currently covers nearly 13.3 percent of the Kansas population, the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program plays a key role in supporting widespread HIT adoption in Kansas.

The list of 23 Eligible Hospitals receiving payment on March 22.