This latest blog posting from the U.S. Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology clarifies the difference between “electronic medical records” (electronic versions of paper medical records) and “electronic health records” (interactive electronic records that draw from and exchange health information with multiple health care providers, encompass a broad, inclusive definition of health and are designed to be accessible by patients themselves); the blog emphasizes the requirement that electronic health records be “meaningfully used” by hospitals, physicians and other eligible health care providers to qualify for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) incentive payments that first became available yesterday, January 3, 2011.  The CMS website for registering to receive EHR incentive payments is now operational.

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