EHR incentive payments present opportunities for both public and private sectors, report says

A new report, detailing how $27 million in economic stimulus funding for electronic health records (EHRs), says that regional extension centers and provider groups will be among the first groups looking towards private sector contractors for help in achieving meaningful use.

Now that the dust has settled over what constitutes meaningful use for EHRs, “states, localities, are regional extension centers are going to move quickly to capitalize on EHR funding,” says Kristina Mulholland, senior analyst of Social Services and Health Care at INPUT.

According to funding streams outline in the economic stimulus package, $27 billion will be paid out as incentive payments over the next ten years, allowing health professionals to tap $44,000 under Medicare and $64,700 under Medicaid. Hospitals stand to obtain millions of federal funds to help with implementation of meaningful EHRs. But in order to receive the maximum amount of payments, providers will have to move quickly to meet stage-one requirements, Mulholland said.

INPUT said in their latest report, “Electronic Health Record Incentive Funding and Certification Program,” also looks at the role of Health center controlled networks, Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), and state-level data indicating which states have received health IT grants.

In addition to EHR-related opportunities, major IT assets will be needed to manage keystones of the health reform legislation, including health insurance exchanges and other web-based portals. In a previous report, the market research firm said that federal and state-level IT investments will near $7 billion to support pieces of the health care reform bill.

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