AZ hospitals get Medicaid Meaningful Use payments

It’s always nice to be reminded that there are concrete rewards to participating in Meaningful Use programs — that the payoff’s not some sort of mirage. Such an example came this week from Arizona, where a wide range of hospitals will soon get checks totaling $15.7 million from the state’s Medicaid program.

Hospitals collecting the Medicaid booty include nine facilities with Banner Health, a multi-state delivery system with thirteen inpatient facilities in Arizona. The Banner hospitals got a total of $12.4 million.

Banner is reaping the rewards of its long-term EMR strategy, which dates back to when it opened Banner Estrella Medical Center in 2005, according to a report in the Arizona Republic.

The health system, which uses technology from NextGen Healthcare, is in the process of rolling out EMRs to all of its 23 facilities. Executives expect that Banner will collect $147 million over the next five years.

Both Banner Estrella and Banner Gateway Medical Center are designed to be paperless, with not only standard EMR technology in place, but also CPOE systems, something which should stand them in good stead as MU demands grow.

The health system has ambitious plans going forward, as well. Once Banner has rolled EMRs to all employed doctors, and portal access to all affiliated physicians, it will migrate to HIEs in Arizona and Colorado through interfaces tied directly into its inpatient and outpatient EMR installations.

Other Arizona hospitals getting Medicaid Meaningful Use payments include Tucson Medical Center, which is collecting $2.4 million. I’m not surprised to read that TMC has its EMR ducks in a row; it’s also established the first ACO in its region and has doubtless been forced to makes sure its data analytics tools are robust.

Money also went to two rural hospitals, Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center and Copper Queen Community Hospital, both of which were paid more than $400,000.

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.