Researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services estimate that at least 45,000 physicians will be eligible for Medicaid health IT incentives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of up to $42,500 to $63,750 over six years, depending on the total percentage of Medicaid patients in their overall patient mix. According to the study, which used research from the 2006 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost of Medicaid health IT incentives could top more than $2.8 billion, if all eligible physicians receive their full share of funds for “meaningful use” of EHRs.
According to Modern Healthcare, physicians treating a large proportion of Medicaid patients are likely to see the Medicaid financing for adoption of EHRs as critical support to their efforts. Many providers and clinics (such as pediatricians, obstetricians, gynecologists, and community health centers) will not be eligible for Medicare incentives either because they are not qualified or because the number of Medicare patients they see is so low. Especially for these providers, Medicaid incentives will play a central role in financial assistance for EHR adoption.