Health IT experts have called for public opinion on the $20bn of funds allocated by the US government to encourage hospitals and physicians to install electronic health records systems by 2014.

Under the scheme that came as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, when these systems are put in place medical professionals will effectively be entitled to $44,000 in Medicare payments over a period of five years, according to

The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) met in June 2009 to start defining what constitutes meaningful use of electronic health records.

The HHS is now seeking comment on proposed recommendations.