Pittsburgh among Medicare project cities

Pittsburgh Business Times

Pittsburgh is among a dozen cities nationwide chosen by the federal government to participate in a national Medicare demonstration project that will provide incentive payments to doctors for using electronic health records. The five-year project is expected to improve the quality of care provided to an estimated 3.6 million Americans.

During the program, up to 1,200 physician practices will receive financial incentives to improve quality as measured by performance on specific clinical quality measures. Bonus payments may also be awarded based on a standardized survey measuring the number of electronic medical record components incorporated into a physician practice.

“Participating in the federal government’s largest electronic health record initiative will make southwestern Pennsylvania’s doctors pacesetters in care management, practice measurement and quality improvement,” Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, said in a prepared statement. PRHI will help recruit physician practices for the demonstration project.

The total payments for five years may reach $58,000 per physician or $290,000 per medical practice, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is administering the program. The 12 communities in the program were competitively chosen from among 30 applicants and recruitment of physician practices in the Pittsburgh area is scheduled to begin in the fall.

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