Meaningful Use, Health Information Exchange Expand In Hawaii

Kyle Murphy | EHR Intelligence | September 4, 2013

Recent developments in their state pertaining to meaningful use and health information exchange should come as good news to providers and patients in Hawaii, according to reports from the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

First, DHS in the Aloha State has launched its EHR Incentive Program for Medicaid, which gives eligible professionals in the state the opportunity to receive a maximum of $63,750 over 6 years and eligible hospitals more than $5 million over four years. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Hawaii is the last of the United States to go live with its Medicaid EHR Incentive Program with most states having launched their programs in 2012. In fact, the Aloha State trailed American territories such as American Somoa, Guam, and the Mariana Islands in getting its program off the ground.

Whereas the Medicare program is administered federally by CMS and mandatory, the Medicaid programs are administered by each state or territory and voluntary (although they are still federally funded). As a voluntary program, providers only eligible for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program are not subject to payment adjustments for failing to participate in meaningful use by a particular deadline as is the case for their Medicare-eligible counterparts.