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DPW reports electronic records reached 500,000 Medical Assistance patients

More than 500,000 Pennsylvania Medical Assistance patients visited providers helped by an electronic records incentive program in its first year, according to Pennsylvania Secretary of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander.

Through the Medical Assistance Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, the department has approved more than $130 million in federally funded incentive payments to more than 3,000 professionals and 90 hospitals.

“The transition from paper medical records to electronic records is a proven way to boost the health and safety of Medical Assistance patients,” Alexander said in a news release. “Our goal is to build on the electronic records infrastructure in Medical Assistance provider offices and hospitals, and work toward true electronic communication.”

In its second year, the program will continue to provide incentive payments to eligible medical professionals and hospitals, but providers must be able to attest to federal meaningful-use requirements for second-year payments.

The department is encouraging providers that have not yet received an incentive payment to register with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and with the Department of Public Welfare to begin receiving payments.

Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the nation in the amount of incentive payments disbursed to Medical Assistance providers. It was one of the first states to implement its incentive program and helped to develop the registration system 12 other states use for their programs.

Heather Stauffer

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