ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland has made its first payments to medical providers and hospitals through the federal Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Program.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown announced Thursday that more than $2 million has been sent to the first group of eligible providers. The program is funded with federal money through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The initiative aims to encourage widespread adoption of electronic medical records. Brown says health information technology will help improve care and reduce costs.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)