Officials Tout Electronic Health Records

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) — U.S. health officials Thursday praised healthcare providers and insurers for taking steps to adopt and promote the use of electronic health records.

In a statement issued Thursday at the Accelerating Electronic Health Records Adoption and Meaningful Use forum in Washington, David Blumenthal, the national coordinator for health information technology, and Marilyn Tavenner, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ principal deputy administrator, said they were “pleased and encouraged by today’s announcement of significant initial steps by organizations across the spectrum of healthcare to support (the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act’s) goal of furthering the meaningful use of certified EHRs.”

The HITECH Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, established the goal of “achieving widespread adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records by 2014,” the statement said.

The act directs CMS to “administer an incentive payments program that will make available significant bonus payments to eligible health care providers who adopt and demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records.” In addition, the HITECH Act provides for leadership and support for adoption of electronic health records and use through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.”

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