The American College of Cardiology (ACC) released a statement this week urging its member physicians to start working towards implementation of electronic medical records, if they haven’t already incorporated them into their practice.
$17 billion of the total Health IT funding consists of incentives for complying physicians who have implemented EMR into their practices by 2015. According to the ACC, the incentives will be paid to physicians in the form of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, in addition to grant programs. Physicians can begin earning incentives in 2011 by demonstrating “meaningful use” of EMR. Physicians can earn from $2,000 to $18,000 in a given year. The sooner the medical practice qualifies for the incentive, the more money the practice will earn in incentives.
On the flip side, medical practices who have not implemented EMR by 2015 will be penalized with up to 3% decreases in Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements.