September 21, 2010
OHCA Contact: Jo Kilgore, Public Information Manager, (405) 522-7474.
State Electronic Health Records Incentive Takes Big Step Forward
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has received approval from the federal government to implement the Oklahoma Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Program. The program uses federal funds as an incentive to qualified Medicaid providers to purchase technology needed to share patient information securely.
“The funds are for providers throughout the state who serve a certain volume of SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) patients. Qualified providers will receive financial assistance to offset the cost of adopting, implementing and upgrading certified electronic health records technology,” said John Calabro, OHCA’s chief information officer.
Provider types who will qualify if they meet the patient volume criteria include physicians, dentists, certified nurse midwifes, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pediatricians. Acute care and children's hospitals may also qualify if they meet established criteria.
The program is intended to support and reward providers’ use of certified electronic health record technology. Oklahoma is one of the first states in the country to receive approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Oklahoma plans to start the Electronic Health Records Incentive program in January 2011.
Electronic health records take advantage of secure patient information sharing across Internet-based health information exchanges. The Statewide Health Information Exchange is intended to improve coordination of patient care, reduce paperwork and make it easier for doctors, hospitals, other providers and insurers to share information, even across state lines.
For more information, visit OHCA’s website, www.okhca.org.