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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky Awarded $2 Million for e-Health Project

Press Release Date:  Friday, January 29, 2010  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Fisher, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3325 and 4012  


Ky At Work LogoKentucky has received more than $2 million to plan an incentive program for Medicaid health care providers to implement electronic health record systems in their practices. The money, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), was awarded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“President Barack Obama’s administration is calling for universal adoption of electronic health records by 2014, and we believe Kentucky is poised to be a leader in this effort,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Janie Miller. “Health information technology has the potential to offer real-time information at the point of care and greater privacy and security protections than paper systems. With this funding, we will establish a plan of action to create a network for our Medicaid providers.”

Ultimately, Kentucky plans to provide monetary incentives to the state’s Medicaid providers to enhance electronic record-keeping efforts. Electronic health records (EHRs) are expected to improve the quality and efficiency of health care by providing a statewide e-health network that would make it easier to store, access and share health records.

“This funding will enhance our efforts to create a statewide, interoperable system for our Medicaid providers,” said Elizabeth Johnson, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services. “The use of this type of system will dramatically improve quality of care, particularly for our rural providers who will be able to access patient information more quickly and communicate with other providers with more accuracy and ease.”

The Commonwealth will receive approximately $2.6 million in federal matching funds. Kentucky will use these funds for planning activities that include conducting a comprehensive analysis to determine the current status of health information technology (HIT) activities in the state.

As part of that process, Kentucky will gather information on issues such as existing barriers to its use of EHRs, provider eligibility for EHR incentive payments, and the creation of a state Medicaid HIT Plan, which will define the state’s vision for long-term HIT use.

Kentucky was one of a handful of states to receive this funding from CMS for HIT planning efforts.

Electronic health records make it easier for the many providers who may be treating a Medicaid patient to coordinate care. Additionally, EHRs make it easier for patients to access the information they need to make decisions about their health care.

ARRA provides a 90 percent federal match for state planning activities to administer the incentive payments to Medicaid providers, to ensure their proper payments through audits and to participate in statewide efforts to promote interoperability and meaningful use of EHR technology statewide and, eventually, across the nation.

“We congratulate Kentucky for qualifying for these federal matching funds to assist its plan for implementing the Recovery Act’s EHR incentive program,” said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations at CMS. “Meaningful and interoperable use of EHRs in Medicaid will increase health care efficiency, reduce medical errors and improve quality-outcomes and patient satisfaction within and across the states.”

Additional information on implementation of the Medicaid-related provisions of ARRA’s EHR incentive payment program may be found at

www.cms.hhs.gov/Recovery/11_HealthIT.asp#TopOfPage.

 

 



 

Last Updated 1/29/2010