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3 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE HITECH ACT

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3 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE HITECH ACT

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed into law on February 17th, 2009. Included in this bill is a section titled the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH for short. This law allocates $18 billion as incentives through Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement systems, providing grants and revolving loan funds to hospitals and physicians considered meaningful users of electronic health records.

These grants and loan funds may be used to purchase EHRs and new healthcare technology. If you’re a small to medium sized healthcare practice in need of a consultation regarding HITECH Act compliance, then look no further. EHR1 has a compliance department that will assist you with matters such as this. Listed are three things both eligible and ineligible providers should be aware of when demonstrating meaningful use of EHR systems, thereby improving health care throughout the country.

THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ISSUES “FINAL RULES”

The Department of Health and Human Services issued three final rules for the implementation of the requirements of the HITECH Act. The new rules stipulate that those who qualify for the incentive program can receive as much as $44,000 in grants and other incentives over a five-year term through Medicare. Furthermore, up to $63,750 over 6 years through Medicaid. Hospitals can earn millions of dollars in grants and revolving loans for implementing and becoming meaningful users of certified electronic health records. The third rule establishes objectives for what is considered ‘meaningful use,’ also providing metrics eligible applicants must meet in order to reap all of the benefits of the EHR incentive program.

EHR TECHNOLOGY STIPULATIONS

In order to be compliant with the HITECH Act, another stipulation addressed in The Department of Health and Human Services final rules was the Temporary Certification Program for Health Information Technology. This certification program establishes a process for businesses and professionals to test and certify for using EHR technology. If you want to take advantage of all the benefits this program has to offer, then you must certify first.

MEDICAID AND MEDICARE INCENTIVE PAYMENTS ESTIMATED TO RISE

Experts estimate that over the next ten years, the Federal government will spend over $26 billion in grants to medical professionals and hospitals implementing the standards set forth in the HITECH Act.

If you are a small to midsize healthcare practice looking to save money and benefit from the outstanding economic benefits the HITECH Act’s financial EHR implementation incentives provide, contact EHR1 today for a certified EHR and expert consulting.


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