Upgrade Your Medical Records— Stimulus Funds Help Doctors buy EHRs! What is the HITECH Act of 2009? Interested in an electronic medical record (EHR) system but have been unable to afford one? Not sure how an EHR could help your office? Now there’s a new law to help many health care providers modernize their office technology—at little to no cost. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of federal stimulus funding known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), authorizes about $36 billion for health information technology over six years (2011 to 2016). Individual physicians or practices may receive up to a maximum of $64,000 over 5 years . In many cases, HITECH funds should cover the entire cost of an EHR. Who’s eligible? • Physicians with at least 30% of their patients enrolled in Medi‐Cal (pediatricians qualify with 20% Medi‐Cal patients) or who serve Medicare patients. • FQHC or rural clinics that serve at least 30% “needy individuals” including, but not limited to, Medi‐Cal beneficiaries. What can you use funds for? Incentive payments must meet the Act’s “meaningful” standard, including: • Exchanging electronic health information (e.g. EHR CAIR) • Submitting information on clinical quality and other measures • Electronic prescribing In order to qualify for funds, you will need to meet federal criteria demonstrating that your implementation meet the laws’ requirements. It is likely that qualified EHR systems will need to be certified. Where can you learn more? Details for implementation of the HITECH Act are under review during 2009. The final guidance is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register in December 2009. More details about the law are online in a Summary of the HITECH Act White Paper. M ay 2009 (rev)