EHRs and Federal Incentives

Side Note: Lots of health care organizations and medical practices are shopping now for new electronic health records (EHRs). Why you may ask? Because this year, the government is offering substantial financial incentives to do so. The incentive program was created by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and goes into effect this year. More specifically, organizations could get up to $44,000 under Medicare and up to $64,000 under Medicaid. The payments, however, will be spread out over 5 and 6 years, respectively, and the systems and the practices must meet certain requirements to qualify.

Transitioning to EHRs or getting a new EHR system involves a lot of research, work and anxiety for most physicians and their practices. KLAS, a firm that researches medical software and services conducted a survey of provider buying habits. The findings were interesting –and conflicting. More than one-third of those in the market for are looking to replace existing systems. However, that said, KLAS also found that health care organizations were reluctant to change systems –even when the company that manufactured those systems no longer supports them.

As if all of this wasn’t stressful enough, EHRs bring with them a whole new set of privacy concerns, including risk of a data breach. For more on this medical liability, see our article, “Data Breach Insurance: A New Reality.” Luckily, many of the professional liability policies available at MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com include this type of coverage in their policies. Check with your agent to see if this may be included in your policy.

MyMedicalMalpracticeInsurance.com can help you lower your liability policy rates. Request a free, no-obligation quote today.

Federal Incentives Prompt Providers to Replace Existing EHRs
Robert Lowes from Medscape Medical News, www.medscape.com

March 11, 2011 — More than one third of healthcare organizations shopping for an electronic health record (EHR) system for physician offices are replacing an existing one, all in hopes of qualifying for federal EHR incentives, according to KLAS, a firm that researches medical software and services.

The company’s report on EHR system buying habits, released last week, states that providers traditionally are reluctant to retire their EHR or practice management systems, even when vendors are no longer supporting them. The shift to widespread technology replacement — a purge, in the words of KLAS — reflects the success of an EHR incentive program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

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