The Medicare program will penalize more than 257,000 physicians and other healthcare providers 1% of their pay next year for failing to achieve meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) technology in previous years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today.

CMS will begin sending letters to these clinicians about the penalty in the next several weeks.

The medical profession has known from the launch of the government’s EHR incentive program in 2011 that bonuses for using the technology in a meaningful way — specifically, to improve the quality of care and lower costs — would give way to penalties beginning in 2015 for those who don’t measure up.

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