ARRA and the Meaningful Use of EHR
The recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) creates an unprecedented opportunity for healthcare providers to bring information to the center of care. Providing $19.2 billion in funding for hospitals and physician practices that adopt a certified electronic health record system (EHR), the legislation is anticipated to drive an overwhelming number of providers to invest in and implement healthcare IT solutions over the next several years.
The time to act is now
The clock is ticking for healthcare organizations to not only implement EHR software, but to achieve meaningful use of an EHR - the primary qualifier that defines whether organizations will be eligible to receive financial incentives. The portion of ARRA that earmarks these dollars, known as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), declares that hospitals and physician practices who qualify can begin receiving additional Medicare payments as early as 2011.
The incentives are significant: $5 million to $10 million per hospital, and up to $64,000 per individual, eligible provider that can demonstrate meaningful use of an EHR. The disadvantages of failing to comply are equally significant. Providers who do not demonstrate meaningful use of an EHR by 2015 will be penalized through a 1% annual reduction in Medicare reimbursements (up to 3% total).
Defining meaningful use of an EHR
Since HITECH was passed, the predominant conversation across the industry has been focused on what "meaningful use" truly means - and it still needs to be fully defined by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Early definitions suggest that EHR software will need to be equipped for information exchange to improve the quality of care and facilitate reporting on clinical quality measures.
But it is also likely that the criteria for measuring meaningful use of an EHR will grow more rigorous by the year, and that organizations will be expected to evolve their use of healthcare IT solutions to transform care. As healthcare organizations consider their next steps in investing in, implementing and adopting healthcare IT solutions, they must think not just about the next two to five years, but about long-term reform of the way healthcare is delivered.
Partner with Ajel for a meaningful use of your resources
As you prepare your organization for this new age in healthcare, discover how Ajel can work with you to provide IT solutions that help businesses like yours to radically cut costs, cut time to market, and become more efficient, productive, profitable, and allow you to quickly evolve as needs change and produce meaningful results.
Ajel Technologies offers a breadth of technology services, including:
- Outsourced Product Development services (EHR / PHR / PMS)
- Health IT Application Integration services
- Health IT Application Maintenance and upgrades
- Health Product Customization and Enhancement services
- Health Data Management
- Revenue Cycle Management
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Ajel provided a solution to Department of Labour to fully automate its innovative benefits scheme and processes in a cost effective manner.