Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services (GAHHS) is proud to announce that we are one of the ten (out of 51) Illinois critical access hospitals to have met the Medicare requirements for Stage 1 meaningful use of electronic health records. The use of electronic health records is promoted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to improve quality, safety, and effectiveness of health care.
“In the U.S. there are approximately 1,300 critical access hospitals”, said Rob Schmitt, CEO of GAHHS. “Of those 1,300, only 173 or 13% have attested for Stage 1 meaningful use in 2011. So not only are we one of the first in Illinois, but we are among the first in the Nation. At GAHHS we are committed to providing the very best for the patients and communities we serve and this is just another aspect of how we are fulfilling that commitment.”
In 2006, President Bush called for greater use of electronic records and other technologies. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorized incentive payments to assist hospitals, physician practices, and other healthcare providers meet a portion of the costs of the IT infrastructure upgrades, and to purchase hardware and software needed for the electronic health records.
Pat Schou, executive director of ICAHN stated, “This achievement by 10 of Illinois’ smallest, rural hospitals demonstrates the commitment of the critical access hospitals to continuously upgrade their technological capabilities and provide the highest level of care for their patients and community residents. “
CMS plans three stages of progressively more complex implementation expectations with current requirements classified as Stage 1. Stage 2 requirements will be implemented in federal fiscal year 2014 and Stage 3 likely in 2015. Medicare payment penalties for hospitals will begin in FFY2015 if implementation requirements have not been met.