The local Medicaid Office announced yesterday that the Commonwealth is the first area in the Pacific to launch the electronic health record incentive program, which provides important motivation and financial support for eligible providers.
The Medicaid EHR Incentive Program was established pursuant to the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, a federal law that authorized Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record incentive payments.
In a statement yesterday, the Medicaid Office stated that, except for Hawaii, the program is not yet available in other insular areas.
The EHR Incentive Program enables the hospital and eligible providers to apply for incentive funds for the implementation and use of electronic health records.
The CNMI Medicaid Program worked with other Health Information Technology stakeholders in the Commonwealth to develop the CNMI State Medicaid HIT Plan that was approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as one of the prerequisites to launching the EHR Incentive Program.
The plan addresses EHRs and also Health Information Exchange and public health HIT interfaces.
“The overall HIT vision for [the] CNMI is to improve patient care and safety for the people of CNMI through widespread adoption and meaningful use of Health Information Technology,” stated Medicaid administrator Helen Sablan.
Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. CEO Juan N. Babauta said last week that the Commonwealth Health Center's electronic health record project would soon entitle the corporation to the benefits promised under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
Saipan Tribune learned that CHCC can get $2 million in federal incentives in the first year, $1.5 million in the second, $1 million in the third year, and $500,000 in the fourth, if it successfully implement the project.