Stimulus Package and Physician Incentives


A day before the stimulus package gets signed, everyone seems to be doing a webcast about how these incentives will be distributed to physicians. Twitter has worked wonders in allowing me to stay up on all the most recent developments, many of which come from John Moore at Chilmark Research. Here's his post. His take on it: A lot of money, and too fast. Practices won't want to miss out on the incentive, so implementations may be botched and it could cause more harm than good. That could definitely happen. Hopefully with this amount of money, vendors will push more comprehensive implementation packages and spend more time with the practice dealing with workflow and functionality.
The chart above is one he put together showing that starting in 2011, physicians will be reimbursed at different rate each year. The bill doesn't say whether or not these are CCHIT electronic medical records or not, and it seems that physicians already using an EHR will get the same financial reward as one that chooses to adopt in 2011. The bill does talk about connecting to an HIE or RHIO for coordination of care but in many cases, RHIOs aren't even ready for that type of communication. Some are limited to only a single feed for lab results (not even orders)...so I'm interested in how that will evolve.
To join a webcast put on by Allscripts discussing how the incentives will work, register here

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