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Financial incentives and ability to exchange clinical information found to be top reasons for EHR adoption

The need to share patient information with other providers and the use of financial incentives are key drivers in why many providers adopt and use health information technology tools like electronic health records (EHRs), according a data brief released today from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

The new data brief details why physicians decided to adopt – or not adopt –EHRs, and it helps to explain how financial incentives drive EHR adoption. The data, from the 2013 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, also highlights the high level of importance providers put on health information exchange.

The data demonstrates the importance of incentive programs like the HITECH Act’s Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (meaningful use) and payments for services that include use of certified EHR technology, such as the separately billable Chronic Care Management services finalized under the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. ONC today posted a new tool to help clinicians estimate the amount of money they might receive from treating Medicare patients living with chronic conditions, while using their certified health information technology, on the HealthIT.gov dashboard.

The results released today show that since the enactment of HITECH in 2009, 62 percent of physicians who adopted health IT tools identified financial incentives and penalties as a major influence on their decision to adopt, compared with only 23 percent of physicians who adopted before 2009.

“We have seen a significant increase in the adoption and use of health IT systems among providers and the new data shows the importance of incentives in building an interoperable health IT system,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary of health. “National delivery system reform initiatives linked to certified technology, such as the separately billable chronic care management services, will help make the electronic use and sharing of health information a reality.”

Today’s data brief found that the ability to easily share electronic information with other care givers, an important component of chronic care management, is also a major motivation for physicians to adopt EHRs. Among physicians who adopted health IT before incentive funds were available, the ability to electronically exchange clinical information with other health care providers was the greatest motivator for adoption. More than a third of physicians who adopted EHRs after HITECH was enacted cited this capability as a major influence in their decision to adopt, and almost 4 in 10 physicians who were not using an EHR reported that the ability to electronically exchange clinical information would be a major driver in their decision to adopt.

December 5, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) Selected as Executive Director of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN)

Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC), a non-profit pioneer and leader in healthcare delivery through health information technology, announced today that it has been selected by the New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN), a collaborative, payer- and provider-directed solution for connectivity, administrative simplification and clinical data exchange, to serve as the management services organization for NEHEN operations. Effective immediately, MAeHC will take charge of the organization’s executive management, business development, and operations management as NEHEN continues to align its services with state HIE efforts and evolving customer needs.

Nationally Recognized Healthcare IT Leader to Provide Management Expertise and Align NEHEN’s Services with Regional State HIE Efforts

Waltham, Mass., October 3, 2012 – The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC), a non-profit pioneer and leader in healthcare delivery through health information technology, announced today that it has been selected by the New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN), a collaborative, payer- and provider-directed solution for connectivity, administrative simplification and clinical data exchange, to serve as the management services organization for NEHEN operations. Effective immediately, MAeHC will take charge of the organization’s executive management, business development, and operations management as NEHEN continues to align its services with state HIE efforts and evolving customer needs.

“NEHEN is a self-sustaining health information exchange whose success has been based on our responsiveness to members’ needs,” said John D. Halamka, M.D., Chair of the NEHEN Board of Directors. “MAeHC has been a key facilitator of HIT/HIE activities across the Commonwealth, including the Massachusetts Health Information Highway, the statewide HIE that will be launched on October 16, 2012.  NEHEN will adapt its services in ways that are complementary to statewide HIE activities and our members’ current and future needs. We will rely on MAeHC to help us set a firm, strategic path and manage the execution of our plans in a smooth and efficient process.”

“NEHEN is one of the most successful and sustainable eHealth initiatives in the nation and we are very proud to have the opportunity to serve this vital institution,” said Micky Tripathi, CEO for MAeHC. “Interoperability and collaboration among all stakeholders is key to the development of a sustainable healthcare system. We are deeply committed to these efforts and grateful for the opportunity to further broaden our work within the New England healthcare community.”

As NEHEN’s Executive Director and management services partner, MAeHC will also help to streamline the organization’s daily operations, coordinate communications, ensure timely completion of projects and reduce overall costs. MAeHC will work closely with the Computer Science Corporation (CSC), NEHEN’s technology provider. CSC will continue its role as the technical architect responsible for the design, implementation and technical support of NEHEN’s core technologies. For more information about NEHEN and their latest developments, please visit: http://nehen.org/home.aspx.

About New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN)

The New England Healthcare Exchange Network is a consortium of regional payers and providers that has designed and implemented a secure and innovative health information exchange with the intent of reducing administrative costs and improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care. Since 1998, the NEHEN technology has changed the way healthcare is delivered and reimbursed in over 40 member organizations which consist of over 55 hospitals, 8 health insurance plans, and tens of thousands of practitioners.

About Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC)

The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative is a national leader in the facilitation and management of electronic health record deployment, health information exchange and quality measure reporting. MAeHC is an independent non-profit corporation with a charitable mission to improve the delivery of health care by promoting the use of health IT.  Formed in 2004 as a collaboration of non-profit health care stakeholders to demonstrate the most effective ways to deploy EHRs and HIE to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and affordability of care in Massachusetts, MAeHC now works across the United States with a wide range of physician practices, hospitals, state governments, contracting networks, management services organizations, HIE organizations, technology vendors, and consulting firms.  To learn more about the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, please visit www.maehc.org.

November 5, 2012 I Written By