Kentucky is among the first four states in the country to begin receiving federal dollars from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for electronic health records under the 2009 stimulus law. The funding – Medicaid incentive payments – will assist with the purchase or upgrade of information technology systems for healthcare records. Because they were the first providers to complete the federal and state application processes, University of Kentucky Healthcare and Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington are the first hospitals in the country to receive checks provided through this funding.
UK received $2.8 million, and Central Baptist received $1.3 million. Twenty-five additional providers have begun the application process. Over the next four years, Kentucky is expected to receive more than $100 million in incentive payments for hospitals to ensure that its healthcare community is working to implement electronic health record systems that can share and receive data as part of a statewide exchange of electronic health records. Incentives are also available for physicians and healthcare providers.
“The incentive program is helping bolster the work of our providers to implement effective electronic health record systems within their facilities – and it also ensures that facilities are using systems that can connect to a statewide network,” said Janie Miller, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “This dramatically enhances our efforts to encourage hospitals, pharmacies and medical practices to adopt systems that can communicate with one another and exchange healthcare information in a useful and meaningful way.”
Iowa, Louisiana and Oklahoma were the other three states designated to receive the first Medicaid incentive payments for the purchase and use of electronic health records systems. The incentive program for hospitals is set to run through 2016, the year targeted for completion of a nationwide health information network.