Monday, November 20, 2006

Federal Regulations may Change re EHR

(from California Healthline)


Federal Regulations Could Increase EHR UseNovember 20, 2006
Regulations established last month to allow hospitals to donate electronic health record systems to physician practices could spark an increase in use of the technology, the AP/New York Times reports.Donated computer systems must be interoperable with other systems, and physicians are required to cover at least 15% of the system's cost. The new regulations allow for the donation of software, maintenance costs or Internet fees, but donations of hardware, other types of software or personnel to manage the systems still are prohibited, the Times reports."It's been a month since the (new regulations) were announced, and the increase in engagement has been immediate," said Sunny Sanyal, group president for clinical solutions at McKesson Provider Technologies. "Physicians weren't ready to provide a big investment. The fact a hospital can now provide it for them completely changes the picture."GE Healthcare has "already seen an uptick in unit sales this quarter," and the company attributes the increase directly to the new regulations, according to Michael Raymer, vice president and general manager for global product strategy at GE Healthcare. James Kumpel -- a health care analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. -- said that it could take several quarters to work out the legal issues of hospital-physician partnerships but that the market eventually will experience a significant increase in sales.Jewson Enterprises, a research firm in Austin, has estimated that EHR sales will more than triple to $4.9 billion by 2010, the AP/Times reports (AP/New York Times, 11/19).

commentary:

While this eases the pain for some physicians, it leaves out those who do not affiliate with a hospital. Remember that most health care is given in the ambulatory or outpatient setting.
First, hospital based EMRs are not designed or well suited for office based practice.
Second, it resists the issue of direct tax credits for physicians and/or providers who invest in EMR to decrease costs and improve efficiencies, to say nothing of what we are being sold in regard to pay for performance and quality measures) (Perhaps I should say "forced down our throats" I don't think anyone would actually buy that), except those in large groups who cater to the whims of managed care and "social public policy" makers.
Perhaps another small "building block" should not be discounted, and taken for what it is...some help.

3 Comments:

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Sabatini Monatesti said...

It may not be necessary for STARK to be modified. Why not use the RHIO as the mechanism for promoting hardware and software use by physicians. RHIO could provide EMR/PHR as an ASP service or conduit for technology to reach the physiican via the RHIO.

Press Release November 21, 2006. Northeastern Pennsylvania Regional Health Information Organization Inc. (AKA: NEPA RHIO) operations are underway. The NEPA RHIO Board at its November first meeting submitted Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws for filing with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of State, Corporation Bureau. NEPA RHIO received certification as a community focused patient centric, nonprofit entity November third. Along with the submission for 501(C)(3) nonprofit status the Board approved Form 1023 documentation for submission to the Internal Revenue Service. In keeping with its stated objective, the Board launched five committees: Business Analysis and Technology, Clinical, Education & Communications, Finance and Membership. The first order of business for each committee is to finalize their respective charters for approval by the Board. These committees are staffed by thirty plus members from the area comprised of communities from throughout the region. The Board will next meet at the Wilkes University campus, Nesbitt College of Pharmacy and Nursing on December sixth. The Board will be focusing on two grant opportunities and begin working on a detailed business plan.

 
At 4:31 AM, Blogger sallda said...

These systems can only be a good thing for patient care, the more a local doctor can the less strain on hospitals, certain equipment and hospital furniture should be allocated or at the very least donated to local doctors, this includes access to hospital records by electronic means.

 
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