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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Government Push for Medicine's "Electronic Age"

It's a really interesting time for the health care industry. As 2011 approaches many physicians are preparing themselves for the electronic age where medical records will no longer be stored on paper. Here is a great article describing the still elusive definition of "meaningful use" and how a physician will qualify for the financial incentives promised by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the HITECH Act (Health Information Technology and Economic Clinical Health).

According to the HITECH Act, eligible professionals (physicians, dentists, chiropractors, and in some circumstances physician assistants and nurse practitioners) can qualify for up to $44,000 through Medicare and $65,000 through Medicaid for transitioning their medical notes from paper based to an inter-operable electronic format. The federal government's goal in this incentive is to establish a national initiative to ensure medical data is submitted to CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) where the information can be used to establish comparative analysis of disease management and improve disease outcomes through evidence based medicine in a cost effective way.

It's an ambitious objective, with the potential for game-changing impacts on medicine. The process, however, won't be an easy one. Read article.

~ Dr. Kevin Friedman
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