Thursday, June 16, 2005

Tax Credits for IT?

Health I.T. Bill Asks for $4 Billion(June 14, 2005) Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate on June 13 would authorize $4.05 billion in grants to providers over five years to adopt interoperable information technology.
Senate Bill 1227, from Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), also would authorize Medicare incentive payments to offset the cost of I.T., and enable providers to deduct I.T. investments from federal taxes.
Under the legislation, providers could apply for grants not to exceed $1 million for a hospital; $200,000 for a skilled nursing facility; $150,000 for a federally qualified health center; $75,000 for a community mental health center; $15,000 per physician for a group practice; and $15,000 for an individual physician.
The bill would authorize total grant funding--for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010--of $250 million for hospitals; $100 million for skilled nursing facilities; $40 million for federally qualified health centers; $20 million for community mental health centers; and $400 million for physicians.
Even if the bill were enacted in some form, Congress later would have to approve grant funding through the appropriations process.
At least 15 national health care trade associations support the bill. Other supporters include the National Business Coalition on Health, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Verizon, and a number of health care I.T. vendors. The AFL-CIO also


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