On June 10, 2008, Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that Louisiana was one of twelve (12) communities chosen to participate in an Electronic Health Records Medicare Demonstration Project. The project will last five (5) years and will provide physicians with financial incentives to use certified electronic health records (EHRs). Incentive payments for the entire 5-year period may reach $58,000 per physician and $290,000 per practice.

The goal of the project is to improve the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Secretary Leavitt stated that the use of EHRs will assist physicians in providing “better, more efficient care for their patients, in part by reducing medical errors.” The idea is to promote the use of EHR technology at the individual physician and small practice level, where health care providers have been the slowest to adopt it. The findings from the demonstration project will be used to determine what role EHRS have in the delivery of high-quality health care and the reduction of errors.

For more information on the EHR Medicare Demonstration Project, refer to the DHHS Press Release found at