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EMR Adoption Program /
EMR Adoption Program FAQ's
EMR Adoption Program FAQ's
What is the health plan sponsored physician electronic medical record adoption program?
The electronic medical record adoption program is being driven by the region’s three health plans – BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Independent Health and Univera Healthcare – in conjunction with a recent $7 million grant award by the HEAL NY program to increase the adoption of electronic medical records by physician practices. With electronic medical records connected to HEALTHeLINK (the clinical information exchange for the eight counties of Western New York), the goal is to improve quality and efficiency of health care in our community.
How can this program help with the cost of implementing electronic medical records in a physician practice?
Through this program, each eligible physician in a practice will receive a flat $5,000 health plan contribution for the purchase of a qualified electronic medical records system. Additionally, HEAL 10 (Patient Centered Medical Home with a focus upon the adult diabetic population) provides approximately $4,000 in reimbursements for each physician in the practice that adopts electronic medical records. For example, a three physician practice could expect to receive funding up to $27,000. This figure does not include various in kind services to be provided by HEALTHeLINK to the physician practice for assistance in the selection and implementation of electronic medical records -- estimated to be worth approximately $14,000. The total value of these programs is approximately $41,000
What is the cost to a physician practice to adopt electronic medical records?
The cost for a physician practice to adopt electronic medical records is estimated at approximately $40,000 - $60,000. In addition to the provided funding from the health plans and HEAL 10, physician practices would be eligible for reimbursement starting in 2011 from the federal government‘s recent $19 billion stimulus package for physician adoption of electronic medical records – up to $44,000 per physician if the practice achieves meaningful use.
Why is there such an urgency to get physician practices to adopt electronic medical records?
Physician practices are being encouraged to adopt electronic medical records to improve the quality and efficiency of health care in our community as both the federal and state governments are investing significant resources in this initiative. In fact, New York State through the HEAL program has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to create a health technology infrastructure. Physician practices need to start the process now or risk losing federal stimulus money. Important to note that beginning in 2015, physician practices will be penalized by the federal government if they do not adopt electronic medical records through cuts in reimbursements in Medicaid and Medicare payments.
Why is this program being implemented?
Healthcare reform will not happen without the automation of the health care delivery system. However, the health plans recognize that technology alone will not make the difference. The plans are also funding services that will be aligned with the systems implementation to help ensure providers achieve “meaningful use” (see below) of these systems.
What physician practices are eligible?
The physician practice must reside within the eight counties of Western New York – Erie, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Orleans, Niagara and Wyoming County – and be designated as a par provider with the three area health plans. Physicians who belong to CIPA Western New York IPA, Inc., the Buffalo Medical Group or Lifetime Health are not eligible nor are physician’s practices that already have electronic health record incentive programs in place.
Does the program give preference to specific physician practices?
This program gives preference to primary care physicians and physicians whose practices accept Medicaid patients. Practices in rural settings will be given priority consideration. Specialist practices will be reviewed at a future date.
What assistance will be provided to a physician practice by HEALTHeLINK?
HEALTHeLINK will be providing a wide range of support to participating physician practices, including assistance in selecting an electronic medical records software package; implementation planning; transforming clinical workflow processes supporting the capture of information into the system; sharing quality measures; and assistance with interoperability through HEALTHeLINK to other electronic health record systems. This assistance will help a physician practice fulfill the “meaningful use” clause to qualify for federal reimbursement. The estimated value of the HEALTHeLINK services to participating physician practices is in the $14,000 range.
Who are the vendors and why were these products selected?
The vendors, carefully screened and approved by HEALTHeLINK and its Physician Advisors, include: Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, MedLink, Medent, NextGen, Practice Partners and Pulse. They were selected based on functional requirements such as: participating in the HEALTHeLINK Learning Lab, becoming interoperable through HEALTHeLINK, supporting clinical requirements to support diabetes, COPD, CHF and hypertension and agreement to community based pricing. HEALTHeLINK reserves the right to modify this vendor list at any time.
If a physician practice already has electronic medical records can it still receive funding?
The goal of this program focuses on new adoption of electronic medical records and funding will be prioritized accordingly. Providers who may have an electronic medical record product that is not certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may be considered.
What is the payer requiring of the physicians in order to receive this funding?
To receive the services and funding, the provider must complete an application reviewed against the eligibility criteria. If accepted, the provider will agree to utilize the process and resources provided by HEALTHeLINK as well produce the quality reporting required to meet meaningful use criteria (once finalized). This program is separate and distinct from any existing pay for performance programs offered by the health plans.
When does the program start?
The application process will begin in November 2009 and conclude at the end of December 2011. The program is limited to the first 500 clinicians meeting the eligibility criteria. Once that limit is achieved, applications will no longer be accepted.
How can a physician practice learn more about the program?
A physician practice must be willing to have an assessment to determine its viability to adopt electronic health records, including technical capabilities e.g. high speed Internet access. For more information please contact Margaret Cosentino at HEALTHeLINK at firstname.lastname@example.org 716- 206-0993 x325 or 311.