CMS launches EHR demonstration project at 12 sites

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Twelve sites have been selected to take part in a five-year electronic health records demonstration project for physicians, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt announced this week.

The demonstration project has a progressive format, with three different stages spread over the five years. First, physicians will receive financial incentives for effective use of EHRs. The second stage of the project will encourage doctors to evaluate themselves using a variety of quality standards. Reporting their progress will lead to further financial benefits. In the final stage of the project, physicians will be compensated based on actual performance, rather than just using EHRs for reporting.

Alabama, Delaware, Jacksonville, FL, Georgia, Maine, Louisiana, the Maryland/D.C. area, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, South Dakota, Virginia, and Madison, WI, are the 12 sites that will partake in the experiment. Electronic health records will make information more portable and make quality of care measures easier to evaluate, Leavitt says. Along with physicians, the long-term care field has been working towards implementing electronic medical records.