Government Health IT, September 16, 2011

Physicians and hospitals signed up in droves in August to participate in the meaningful use incentive program, with 13,000 registering, a 30 percent jump from July, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. As of the end of August, a total of 90,000 eligible physicians, other professionals and hospitals are taking part in the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health records incentive programs, said Robert Anthony, a specialist in CMS' Office of e-Health Standards and Services. In July, that total was 77,000 providers. Drilling down into the numbers, CMS paid Medicare incentives to 1,000 physicians in August, nearly double the number of clinicians paid in July, which was double the number of those paid in June, he said. About half of all physicians who have been paid under the Medicare program were paid in August. Physicians who demonstrate the first stage of meaningful use in 2011 or 2012 can receive $18,000.

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