A sales rep from Allscripts has sent around the following information about what the stimulus plan will do to incentivize the deployment of electronic health records. I’ve long been of the opinion that they will only happen if the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandates them.
That’s what happened with electronic claims processing. So here’s what has happened:
“In addition to its other components focused on economic stimulus, the law provides $20 billion in health information technology funding. The total includes $2 billion in discretionary funds and $18 billion for investments and incentives through Medicare and Medicaid to ensure widespread adoption and use of interoperable healthcare IT systems such as the Electronic Health Record. Physicians who have not adopted certified Electronic Health Record systems by 2014 will have their Medicare reimbursements reduced by up to 3 percent beginning in 2015.
“With the stimulus, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will pay physicians between $44,000 and $64,000 over five years, beginning in 2011, for deploying and using a certified Electronic Health Record to care for patients. The stimulus package is expected to ignite significant job growth in the information technology sector and, according to a Congressional Budget Office review of the legislation’s impact, drive up to 90 percent of US physicians to adopt Electronic Health Records in the next decade.
“Once a provider starts collecting incentive payments for meaningful use of an EHR (whether in 2011 or beyond), he or she can continue to collect PQRI payments but cannot continue to collect ePrescribing payments.
Under the Medicaid incentives, nurse practitioners and nurse mid-wives are eligible for incentive payments if they demonstrate meaningful use and meet the minimum threshold required of the Medicaid incentives. Under the Medicare incentives, the payments are not available to mid-levels; they are available only to MDs, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists and chiropractors.”