January 20, 2012
In 2009, President Obama signed into law the HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic & Clinical Health) as part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – also known as the “Stimulus Package”. The goal of this legislation was to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient care quality by driving all medical data in the form of Electronic Hedical Records (EHR) to become the national standard by the end of 2014.
The HITECH Act significantly widens the scope of HIPAA privacy & security rules, increases potential legal liability & reduced Medicare reimbursement payments for non-compliance, and provides mechanisms for periodic government audits & enforcement. However, the HITECH Act also provides significant financial incentives designed to accelerate adoption of EHR technology.
Eligible healthcare providers who demonstrate “Meaningful Use” of an ONC-ATCB Certified EHR technology can qualify for federal stimulus money.
- Up to $44,000 over 5 years for Medicare eligible providers
- Up to $63,750 over 6 years for Medicaid eligible providers
However, if you choose the right EHR product to fit your practice’s actual workflow, then additional benefits include:
- Efficiency and productivity improvements leading to lower operating costs, and increased patient volume (i.e. revenue)
- Improved patient care quality, fewer mistakes, and possibly lower malpractice insurance premiums; and
- Accurate charge capture and faster revenue cycle.