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Health IT stimulus bill passes through Congress

Posted Jan 27 2009 5:40pm

Brand An article in Government Health IT (a HIMSS publication) announced that the healthcare IT stimulus package passed through Congress intact and is in route to the House floor by middle of next week.

I'm not a policy wonk by any stretch of the imagination, but this news clearly indicates that there is bipartisan support for Health IT funding and incentives. What is extra special about this news is the fact that the $20 billion health IT funding package remained intact.

Passage of the bill would provide funding and incentives to doctors and hospitals to adopt health information technology (e.g. eHealth, or certified electronic health records). "Beginning in 2011 the bill authorizes payments to physicians of up to $41,000 over five years to help with adoption of electronic records." There is also provisions to reduce Medicare payments in 2016 for those professionals who are not using a certified system. Hospitals would also be eligible for incentive payments.

I'll keep my fingers crossed since most people know that I am an advocate of paper-less health records.

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