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EMR incentives near $7 billion

The total amount that has been paid to medical practices through the federal EMR incentive program is inching closer to the $7 billion mark.

The total amount that has been paid to medical practices through the federal EMR incentive program is inching closer to the $7 billion mark.

Healthcare practices and IT support firms everywhere are working toward implementing state-of-the-art electronic medical records (EMR) systems that meet meaningful use requirements. Not only are they improving operational efficiency and quality of patient care, but they are also responsible for an influx of funds for thousands of physicians and practices.

According to a recent Government Health IT article, nearly $7 billion in incentives has been paid to 143,800 eligible Medicare and Medicaid providers for EMR adoption. Last month alone saw roughly $500 million for facilities throughout the U.S.

The article cites figures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which will be released later this month, illustrating the increasing numbers of physicians and medical practices participating in the incentive program.

Robert Anthony, a specialist in the CMS Office of eHealth Standards and Services, told the news source that the coming months will be very informative.

Anthony said they are "no longer looking at just the early adopters, we're looking at people who may still be in their first year of meaningful use, but they're not necessarily the people who are at the beginning of the curve. Yet we continue to see very high performance across the board on all the objectives."

The most effective way to successfully implement an EMR system is to make sure it integrates seamlessly with a practice's other IT assets. By having all systems operate as one, it is easier for users to become acclimated to them, eliminating the confusion that can occur when each operates independently and with different user interfaces.

The most experienced EMR consultants are able to design ways for traditional IT assets and electronic medical records to work in congruence with one another and not cause unnecessary conflicts.