Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in a statement has said that more than 257,000 doctors in the US are to face 1% cut next year since they have not met the Federal specifications for using electronic medical records. Another 28,000 health providers will face another 1% cut in Medicare payments in 2015 for not prescribing medications electronically. 200 hospitals will also lose 1% of their Medicare payments in 2015 for missing the deadline for EMR use.
The rules were set to boost the health care industry’s transition from paper to paperless electronic record keeping. The law also offered liberal incentives payments initially for providers who made creative use of EMR.
Both Doctors groups and reliable sources close to Obama administration have also confirmed that 257,000 medical-care providers are being notified.
As part of the so-called “federal stimulus” legislation, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, US president Obama signed into law, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. The Law provides some $20 billion to get medical care providers to shift to use electronic medical records as bonuses if they comply with the provisions.
Doctor groups are however not very happy with the new provisions. Doctors say that as they deal with other government regulations like Medicare reforms and millions of new customers under the Affordable Care Act and the doctors with small practices will be hit the most.
A spokeswoman with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services told Forbes in a statement, “CMS is working with physicians and other health care providers to improve health care quality through the use of electronic health records. Since 2011, more than 400,000 eligible professionals have received incentives under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Beginning today, however, CMS will be notifying the minority of eligible professionals who have not successfully participated in the program that they will be subject to payment adjustments in 2015 as required by law.”