Hawaii’s Medicaid program Will Receive Funds to Implement Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program
In another key step to further states’ role in developing a robust U.S. health information technology (HIT) infrastructure, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that Hawaii’s Medicaid program will receive federal matching funds for state planning activities necessary to implement the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). Hawaii will receive approximately $836,000 in federal matching funds.
EHRs will improve the quality of health care for the citizens of Hawaii and make their care more efficient. The records make it easier for the many providers who may be treating a Medicaid patient to coordinate care. Additionally, EHRs make it easier for patients to access the information they need to make decisions about their health care.
The Recovery Act provides a 90 percent federal match for state planning activities to administer the incentive payments to Medicaid providers, to ensure their proper payments through audits and to participate in statewide efforts to promote interoperability and meaningful use of EHR technology statewide and, eventually, across the nation.
“We congratulate Hawaii for qualifying for these federal matching funds to assist its plan for implementing the Recovery Act’s EHR incentive program,” said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey & Certification at CMS. “Meaningful and interoperable use of EHRs in Medicaid will increase health care efficiency, reduce medical errors and improve quality-outcomes and patient satisfaction within and across the states.”
Hawaii will use its federal matching funds for planning activities that include conducting a comprehensive analysis to determine the current status of HIT activities in the state. As part of that process, Hawaii will gather information on issues such as existing barriers to its use of EHRs, provider eligibility for EHR incentive payments, and the creation of a State Medicaid HIT Plan, which will define the state’s vision for its long-term HIT use.
Hawaii and three other states are receiving federal matching funds for the electronic health record incentives program.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says North Dakota’s Medicaid program will receive $226,000 for planning activities necessary to implement the program.
Hawaii is to get $836,000, Ohio nearly $2.3 million and Massachusetts some $3.5 million under the effort established by the federal stimulus program to make health care more efficient.
Officials say the records make it easier for the many providers who might be treating a Medicaid patient to coordinate care.