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GOVERNMENT STIMULUS MONEY FOR EMR - HEALTHCARE IT STIMULUS FUNDS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Q. How much funding is available for healthcare IT through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009? A. Precise figures vary due to changing projections and the inconsistent inclusion of investment and cost savings to the government, but there should be close to $17 billion (net) for electronic medical records (EMR) adoption through Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and approximately $2 billion for the Office of the National Coordinator (of which $300 million is specified for regional health information exchange [HIE] efforts). There is substantial additional funding elsewhere in the bill that can and likely will also support Healthcare IT, but the specific designations and uses of that funding are less clear. Q. Who qualifies for the funds? A. Electronic medical records (EMR) funds are available for non-hospital–based providers and for hospitals. Recipients must care for Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries, and payments depend on the patient mix. Special provisions apply for critical access hospitals, for providers practicing in health and human services–designated provider shortage areas, and for certain other categories of recipients. Q. How will the funds be distributed? A. EMR funds are available through both Medicare and Medicaid programs, structured as reimbursements, but providers and hospitals cannot receive both. Q. How do I know if I can receive reimbursement for my EMR? A. Recipients must make meaningful use of certified EMR products to receive payment. Both terms are pending clarification as described in the next question and answer. Q. What constitutes meaningful use and certified EMR? A. Meaningful use • Includes information exchange. • Reports on clinical quality measures. • Is, as yet, undefined. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will define meaningful use. • Certified EMR • Provides clinical decision support. • Supports physician order entry. • Captures/queries information relevant to health-care quality. • Exchanges electronic health information with other sources and integrates such information from them. • Is, as yet, undefined, both as a process and as a definition. • The Office of the National Coordinator will define certified EMR by December 31, 2009. Q. How much am I eligible for?*




ISCA Winter Newsletter 2009  

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