The 2009 HITECH Act has spurred “large gains” in hospitals’ adoption of electronic health records, according to a study published yesterday in Health Affairs. Before the federal government implemented the HITECH incentives, EHR adoption rates for eligible hospitals rose 3.2% annually, the study says. After the incentives took effect, EHR adoption among eligible hospitals rose 14.2% annually, the study says. Under the HITECH Act, the federal government funded a $27 billion incentive program that encourages hospitals and providers to adopt EHR systems. The study’s findings are based on eight years of data from the AHA’s annual survey of hospitals. “Our results support the argument that recent gains in EHR adoption can be attributed specifically to HITECH,” the study’s authors said.

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