October 4, 2011
OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Carter Kimble - (405) 522-7510
More Than $50 Million Dispersed In Incentive Money For Docs And Hospitals To Go Electronic
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has awarded more than $51 million in federal funds to incentivize SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) providers to attain and meaningfully use a certified electronic health record system as part of the Oklahoma State Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive program.
“By working together, we can promote available technology for the betterment of our health care system,” said Dr. Garth Splinter, State Medicaid Director. The OHCA has paid 862 eligible professionals and 45 eligible hospitals as part of the Oklahoma Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Program, Splinter said.
To qualify for the incentive payment, eligible professionals and eligible hospitals must have a specified percentage of SoonerCare encounters and demonstrate they have adopted, implemented or upgraded to a certified EHR system. Beginning in 2012, providers must show meaningful use of a certified EHR system that improves quality, safety and effectiveness of care.
SoonerCare eligible professionals who qualify and participate in the program for six years may receive incentive payments up to $63,750 for implementing and using electronic records. SoonerCare eligible hospitals receive incentive payments over a three year period centered upon a $2 million base amount which is then adjusted by the hospital’s inpatient discharges and other elements. The incentive payments that are distributed by OHCA are 100 percent federal funds.
Splinter said EHRs play a vital role in bringing all health information for a patient together and making it available electronically to any provider treating the patient. EHRs may reduce costs by decreasing paperwork for the provider. Electronic records also ensure confidentiality and security for patients.
“The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is committed to ensuring health information technology is integrated, interactive, interoperable, and intelligent to provide the best patient outcomes,” Splinter said.