American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to provide financial incentives to eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals that “meaningfully use” electronic health record (EHR) technology. In 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Final Criteria for Stage 1 of the program that physicians will have to meet to obtain the incentive payments. Below are resources and guidance related to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, including a Basic Starter Guide for the EHR program and how to get involved.

ACS Advocacy and Resources

Regional Extension Center

Regional extension centers (RECs) were created as a result of Health Information Technology Extension Program which was authorized by the HITECH Act. The purpose of a REC is to offer technical assistance, guidance, and information to help health care providers become meaningful users of EHRs. There are currently 62 RECs throughout the United States and each REC has a defined service area. Although RECs have placed a priority on delivering services to primary care practices, these centers will provide assistance to specialty practices but fees might vary by REC. Please contact the REC in your area for availability and pricing. Click on the REC listing link below for a listing of the current RECs, please view State by State RECs.

Rulemaking Process

Comment Letters

Rule Making

Additional Resources

For further information, please contact Sana Gokak at