Health Information Technology   Electronic Health Records  

Transforming Health Care

Federal and State policy has promoted adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) since 2009 through financial incentives intended to drive change and transform health care delivery. The promise of EHRs to improve patient care, decrease medical errors, and reduce costs is challenged by the need for more robust interoperability between different information systems across care settings. The federal Promoting Interoperability (PI) Programs (previously referred to as the EHR Incentive Programs or Meaningful Use) seeks to prioritize interoperability and patient access to their health information. Other federal efforts like the enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act in 2016 covers many aspects of health care, one of which includes enhancing interoperability by discouraging information blocking and creating a reporting system on EHR usability, functionality, and security, among other things.

EHR Landscape

The MHCC periodically conducts environmental scans of EHR adoption in the State. The following chart details adoption by care setting.

Care Setting  Adoption Rate
Maryland National 
 Acute Care Hospitals  100 96 
 Dentists  53  52 
 Long-Term Care  88  64 
 Office-based Physicians 71 54

Notes: The Maryland Health Care Commission collects data on EHR adoption through surveys and information available from the Maryland Board of Physicians. In general, findings are based on self-reported data that is not audited for accuracy. Interpretation of EHR adoption questions and survey methodologies may vary. The national dental adoption rate also includes use of practice management software. Adoption rate year by care setting (Maryland, National): Acute Care Hospitals (2016, 2015), Dentists (2017 2015), Long term care (2016, 2016), and Office-based physicians (2016, 2015).

For more information, check out these reports:

Resources

Refer to the following resources for more information about EHR adoption and implementation and important information about requirements for using EHRs in quality reporting programs.

  • Health IT Playbook  
    Designed by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to help practices in selecting and implementing health IT and provides best practices for a variety of health IT-related topics including EHRs.
  • PI Programs
    Information provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for eligible professionals and hospitals participating in the programs. 
  • State-Regulated Payor EHR Adoption Incentive Program
    Separate from the PI Programs and available to eligible primary care practices from certain State-regulated payors through December 2018.
  • The Quality Payment Program (QPP)
    The QPP puts into place key aspects of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) by establishing a new framework that rewards health care providers for quality and combines existing quality reporting programs into one system. Effective January 1, 2017, the QPP consists of two tracks for participation: 1) The Merit-based Incentive payment System (MIPS) and 2) Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
  • MACRA Awareness and Support Program (MAS)
    MAS provides education and assistance to ambulatory practices about important information and available resources for participating in MIPS and APMs.
  • Certified EHR Technology
    CMS and ONC establish standards and other criteria for EHRs required for participation in the PI Programs and other quality reporting programs.

Last Updated: 7/19/2018