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The Official Web Site for the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

This official web site (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) provides up-to-date, detailed information about the Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs. Use the tabs to the left to find additional information regarding various aspects of the program. Background The nation’s healthcare system is undergoing a transformation in an effort to improve quality, safety and efficiency of care, from the upgrade to ICD-10 to information exchanges of EHR technology. To help facilitate this vision, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the "HITECH Act" established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the "meaningful use" of certified EHR technology. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The programs begin in 2011. These incentive programs are designed to support providers in this period of Health IT transition and instill the use of EHRs in meaningful ways to help our nation to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient health care. NOTE: This is a new program, and it is separate from other active CMS incentive programs, such as Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), Reporting Hospital Quality Data for Annual Payment Update (RHQDAPU) and e-Prescribing. Get more Info here

Fed Health Tech Chief Talks About E-Medical Records

Dr. David Blumenthal, the national coordinator of Health Information Technology, is responsible for doling out some $100 million in grants to help Texas doctors transition to electronic medical records by 2014. Last week, he was the keynote speaker at a conference in Austin on the impact of e-records, and he toured a clinical simulation that trains University of Texas graduates to become specialists in health information technology. Later, he sat down with the Tribune to talk about protecting patient privacy during the transition, making that switch easier for doctors and how Texas patients will fair when hospitals and doctors' offices — finally — go paperless.

To read more go to The Texas Tribune


RIM tablet Blackberry PlayBook can be used in healthcare industry

Blackberry PlayBook tablet has the potential to be used in healthcare industry. Research In Motion launched Blackberry Enterprise Application Development Middleware at Developer Conference in San Francisco. The File Transfer Library application allows doctors to attach image files to patients EMRs (electronic medical records).

The new application enables you to preview a record or see a picture before sending it to RIM smartphone or a tablet user.

Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM call it “first professional tablet” which will be launched in US in early 2011. The company plans to launch 3G-enabled and 4G-enabled versions in the future. It is expected that PlayBook will cost between $300- $500.

CEO of technology consulting company Netspective Communications, Shahid Shah said "Like other BlackBerry devices, the PlayBook will have better 'genes' for health care because it will be ready with enterprise security from day one,"

PlayBook health care applications are much secure platform than Dell Streak's Android OS and Apple iPad's iOS. The PlayBook has a front-facing camera and the rear camera, video recording up to 1080P HD. Please read this article from

Top Ten Considerations Prior to EMR Purchase

A lot of providers have reconciled themselves to the fact that with or without the government’s incentive to subsidize an EMR, they will need to eventually move to an EMR as healthcare IT is moving forward.  Recently, Clarity has been providing a lot of medical practice readiness assessments and business flow analysis work to help prepare practices for their EMR transitions. It is a huge investment!  One of the biggest gaps we see as we work inside the practices PRIOR to the investment, is how little they think about the workflow requirements before they select and EMR application.  As last month, the Meaningful Use Final Rules were released; many more Eligible Professionals (EP/s) are starting the process.  Although a thorough Needs Analysis and Scope of Work should be considered (and will save money) before vendor selection, here is a starting point to get you prioritizing the EMR needs of your practice.

How it will work:

1) Investigate and price a concurrent Practice Management system with the EMR.  The more interfaces the more complex the systems are to run. Consider at least one vendor that has both.

2) Determine where all you need to collect electronically and review EMR vendor connections to these (current or need development and price), i.e. lab, hospital, transcription service, PACS System.

3) Consider whether you want, can handle, have space for, have the IT resources for your own servers or whether you want to  use an ASP model and connect via the web (usually cheaper).

Read more of the article from MD&E Clarity

Health IT: New Medicaid Rules, A Race For Meaningful Use, Fraud Prevention

Instructions for state Medicaid directors to distribute some of the funding for electronic medical records through their programs beginning next year have been circulated by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, American Medical News reports. "The incentive program stipulates that the federal government will pay the full cost of Medicaid bonuses to eligible physicians who adopt certified EMR technology in a way that meets the government's 'meaningful use' criteria. It also will pay 90% of states' eligible administrative expenses. Read more of the article from Medical News Today

Initial EHR Certification Bodies Named

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), Chicago, Ill. and the Drummond Group Inc. (DGI), Austin, Texas, were named today by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as the first technology review bodies that have been authorized to test and certify electronic health record (EHR) systems for compliance with the standards and certification criteria that were issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year.

Announcement of these ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCBs) means that EHR vendors can now begin to have their products certified as meeting criteria to support meaningful use, a key step in the national initiative to encourage adoption and effective use of EHRs by America’s health care providers. For more on the article goto BUSINESS WIRE

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