Stimulus money for EHR implementation is on the table and both healthcare organizations and EHR providers are looking to capitalize on the government offer.
Capitalize on Stimulus
For the past one year or so, physicians were hearing about stimulus dollars and how they can claim the same for their practice. Physicians were curious and wanted to know more about it; but in spite of federal announcements and most of the EMR vendors started aggressive marketing, there wasn’t very noticeable movement until now. Providers knew that someday they have to adapt an EMR however many of them, even today are skeptical about the benefits that it will bring to them. Some feel that EMR will benefit Insurance companies, patients, federal government and other organizations but not providers themselves. Many of them are afraid of the disruption it will cause in their practice and it will reduce the patient flow.
Things have started to change now and quite rapidly. Many vendors started announcing that their provider community started getting first installments of stimulus money. Regional Extension Centers (REC) started conducting seminars and started educating providers. Many IPA and hospitals started nudging providers by offering free EMR in exchange for collecting stimulus money on their behalf.
All in all, the momentum is truly picking up and it is now here to stay for next couple of years at least. Providers are still wondering about benefits of EMR to them, but hey, stimulus money certainly helps them care less about it. Certainly money works for individuals. Incidentally, intangible benefit will be for CMS and HHS that they’ll gather data for improving healthcare and reducing cost.