More Money for Early EMR Adopters (appropriately so)
ONCHIT Czar Dr. David Blumenthal announced a new round of HIT monies for those who are successfully using EMRs: http://healthit.hhs.gov/blog/onc/index.php/2009/12/02/beacon-communities-a-proving-ground-for-health-it/
I am a fan since I do think that early adopters should get some credit, and the government thinking and reasoning on this appears very sound. Of course, they are not just giving the money away - they are providing it to those EMR adopters who will use it to show specific benefits or integration abilities. Here is what they specifically said:
"Why invest in health communities that are already well ahead in their adoption and use of health IT, when we still have so many communities that are just getting started? Simply put, because it’s sound planning and program management. Together with the Medicare and Medicaid program, we are investing billions of dollars in creating a nationwide interoperable private and secure health information system across all communities. We recognize that throughout our country we have different levels of health IT adoption and varied capabilities to establish EHR systems. Because of this diversity in adoption levels and capabilities, we want an opportunity to peer into the future, to demonstrate the benefits of health IT concretely, and to learn valuable lessons about how American communities can transform their health systems through the use of health IT. Given the pressure to improve our health system, we want to learn these lessons quickly – in a few years if possible – and we think the best way to do that is to accelerate the progress of diverse communities that are leading the way."
Can't wait to see who they choose for this!