Archive for September, 2010

HITECH, EMR Forced Upon Us?…America Has Seen This Before

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

The recently passed HITECH legislation by the government requiring physicians to move from paper based medical records to Electronic Medical Records (EMR) has a not so distant cousin that was forged with equal intentions-forced control. A little history:

1933: The National Recovery Administration was formed as an administrative mechanism for the National Industrial Recovery Act resulting in more than 500 codes and requirements and “generated more paper than the entire legislative output of the federal government since 1789″. Businesses were asked to display a Blue Eagle to show their compliance. Failure to do so resulted in fines and…imprisonment. The head of the administration at the time commented “May God have mercy on the man or group of men who attempt to trifle with this bird”.

Now consider HITECH, meaningful use EMR, incentives and penalties for noncompliance. Have doctors been pressed into conformity by the government in it’s quest for control? Is CCHIT EHR certification nothing more than a modern day Blue Eagle? Is it a doctor’s duty as a employer and caregiver to stay up late at night and read the thousands of pages of fine print regarding ARRA, HITECH and meaningful use requirements?

The similarities of 1933 and 2009 are striking. The outcome is uncertain. HITECH is well intentioned. Is it well thought out? Sadly, 60% of physicians have no idea what the HITECH initiative requires, or why.

Electronic Medical Records Update: Financing Your EMR

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

As the HITECH Act has called for physicians to adopt Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR), physicians are eligible to recieve up to $44,000 as an incentive to adopt EMR quickly. of the $44,000, $18,000 is available if the physician selected EMR provider shows “meaningful use” in 2011. Snooze, you lose.

So what about available programs to finance your jump to EMR EHR from paper based records? There is alot involved in making a EMR choice, converting your paper charts to digital, offering patirnts access to their Personal Health Record (PHR), existing electronic data conversion, training, computer hardware and…FINANCING this monster undertaking.

Many of the hundreds of EMR EHR providers and resellers may offer financing programs to earn your business. In addition, private lenders and banks have created Finance Programs that focus on assisting the physicians adoption of EMR. Rates may be favorable and, needed. Why?

The US Congress introduced a program through the Small Business Administration subcommittee to offer a low interest loan program for physicians and EHR adoption. However, this measure, having passed the US House and referred to the Senate for action, remains just that-buried in a Senate committee. At this moment, it seems unlikely that the measure will be passed in time for assisting those doctors that purchase a EMR system in 2010-2011, resulting in another year passing and forefitting the initial $18,000 available as incentives.

My EMR Choice has insight as to many existing options tio EMR EHR financing programs. Don’t heaitate to ask.