Contractors will find comprehensive information and current opportunities related to state and local governments' electronic health records (EHR) incentives program through INPUT's Electronic Health Record Incentive Funding and Certification Program. The report covers funding sources, information technology implications, and certification requirements that support the national health care agenda. It also provides deeper insight into the $27 million in economic stimulus funding available to eligible physicians who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems.
Meaningful use pertains to objectives that providers must meet to qualify for the incentive payments. The report is certainly well-timed, as hospitals and other health care facilities get ready to meet stage one of EHR data reporting requirements, since it highlights the proposed rulemaking for meaningful use criteria and the newly defined, two-tier EHR certification program. "States, localities, and regional extension centers are going to move quickly to capitalize on EHR funding," said Kristina Mulholland, senior analyst, Social Services and Health Care at INPUT. "It is essential that they fulfill stage one requirements -- especially when it comes to meeting computerized physician order entry -- and they will need to seek technical assistance from contractors that specialize in system integration and hardware, software, and professional services along the way."
Other critical issues addressed in the report include:
- Health center controlled networks
- Health information exchanges (HIEs)
- Tiered temporary and permanent EHR certification programs for vendor solutions
- Rulemaking for meaningful use criteria
- Data on each state that received multiple health care IT grants for EHRs, HIEs, or Medicaid health care IT projects, and planning information for these systems
Based on INPUT's analysis of the issues and implications surrounding health care reform legislation, EHR incentive payments comprise the largest portion of health care IT spending and that most of the EHR-related opportunities will come from regional extension centers (RECs) and provider groups. "Contractors should keep in mind that the stakeholders involved are outcome-oriented," Mulholland said. "They are likely to work backward to determine how technology can help accomplish their goals. At the same time, they recognize the need for innovative solutions and want to learn more about what contractors can offer them. To gain a significant piece of the market, contractors should align their strategies with the stakeholders' needs, showcase their core competencies, match these solutions with specific meaningful use requirements, and get on the list of preferred vendors."