From Registration began Monday for healthcare professionals and hospitals to participate in the Health and Human Services Department's Medicare and Medicaid electronic-health records incentive programs.

Doctors who adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records will be eligible for Medicaid payments of up to $63,750 over six years, and Medicare bonuses of as much as $44,000 over five years.

For hospitals, the incentives start at a $2 million base payment for both Medicaid and Medicare. For Medicare, doctors must begin the transition by 2012 to receive the maximum benefit; those who provide services in an area with a shortage of health care professionals will qualify for additional payments. Medicare eligible professionals who do not demonstrate meaningful use by 2015 will be penalized starting at 1% of reimbursements and increasing each year to a maximum of 5%. Read the entire article here.