BETHESDA, Md., May 22 (UPI) -- More than half of U.S. doctors and other health providers adopted electronic health records, the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says.
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her department met and exceeded its goal for 50 percent of doctor offices and 80 percent of eligible hospitals to have electronic health records by the end of 2013.
"Since the Obama administration started encouraging providers to adopt electronic health records, usage has increased dramatically. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's survey in 2012, the percent of physicians using an advanced electronic health records system was just 17 percent in 2008," Sebelius said in a statement.
"Today, more than 50 percent of eligible professionals -- mostly physicians -- have demonstrated meaningful use and received an incentive payment. For hospitals, just 9 percent had adopted electronic health records in 2008, but today, more than 80 percent have demonstrated meaningful use of electronic health records."
Starting with the passage of the Recovery Act in 2009, doctors, hospitals and other eligible providers that adopted electronic health records received incentive payments via the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs.
"We have reached a tipping point in adoption of electronic health records," Sebelius said. "Health information technology helps providers better coordinate care, which can improve patients' health and save money at the same time."