A large-scale review of data related to hospital compliance with federal electronic health records mandates reveals that most U.S. hospitals have made substantial progress toward EHR adoption. Nonetheless, because considerable federal dollars are tied to complete adoption, many hospitals — especially small rural ones — could forfeit millions as key deadlines approach.

Already, some hospitals have failed to meet meaningful-use guidelines by the July 1, 2014 deadline.

"For many hospitals, penalties will be assessed in fiscal year 2015 for failing to meet federal meaningful-use criteria," researchers noted. The stakes of compliance are high, they pointed out. "$30 billion to promote the 'meaningful use' of electronic health records through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs," plus other indirect payments and support services available to those who meet the guidelines.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.