Health information technology (HIT) brings a shift in our nations’ health care and record keeping. As part of the federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, the Medicaid and Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs encourage providers to upgrade to nationally certified EHR technology and use that technology every day to improve the quality of patient care.
To date, 50 states and territories have made Medicaid EHR incentive payments to their provider communities. The N.C. Division of Medical Assistance’s (DMA) HIT team administers the N.C. Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, and has been onboarding providers since 2011. As of June 30 more than $135.5 million, has been paid to 3,126 providers and 74 hospitals.
The program requires enrolled providers to demonstrate various stages of “Meaningful Use,” by reporting quality metrics and public health information. As Stage 2 of Meaningful Use approaches in 2014, the DMA HIT team is working with the N.C. Health Information Exchange (NC HIE) and the North Carolina Community Care Networks to help participants meet Stage 2 objectives.
Connecting provider EHRs to state systems like the N.C. Medicaid Incentive Payment System and the N.C. Immunization Registry will allow real-time data exchange with DMA and the Division of Public Health. This will improve workflow and healthcare efficiencies. This collaborative and advanced approach has received praise from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT.
The N.C. Medicaid EHR Incentive Program is paving the way for streamlined healthcare in North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ncdhhs.gov/dma/provider/ehr.htm.