Does “Meaningful Use” Mean Widespread Abuse? – HHS-OIG’s Review of EHR Incentive Payments

June 30, 2017  |  The Insider: White Collar Defense and Securities Enforcement

In 2009, as part of the HITECH Act, the federal government funded an incentive program by which health care providers who implemented and used electronic health records (“EHRs”) for their patients were able to receive significant financial benefits. The incentive program, which provided for potentially substantial payments to medical providers who engage in the “meaningful use” of EHRs, was premised on the view that the jettisoning of paper records, and the adoption and use of electronic medical records, was likely to improve the quality of patient care, improve patient safety, and reduce health care costs. But, from the very outset, entities such as the Government Accountability Office also made note of a darker side to the incentive program – namely, the potential that the program would be subject to fraud and abuse, and the need for significant oversight to ensure the integrity of payments made under the program’s auspices. [...]

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