Free EHR, EHR and Healthcare IT Newsletter Want to receive the latest updates on EHR, EMR and Healthcare IT news sent straight to your email? Get all the latest EHR News for FREE!

Cottage Hospital Becomes First Critical Access Hospital in New England to Achieve CMS Stage 1 Meaningful Use Certification for Electronic Health Records

Cottage Hospital yesterday announced the completed attestation for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Stage 1 Meaningful Use (MU) certification on July 15, 2011, making it the first critical access hospital (CAH) in New England to achieve that milestone. Now Cottage is not only a leader in the state but also among the first healthcare providers nationally to demonstrate that it is using certified EHR technology in ways to improve clinical quality and care.

Woodsville, NH – Cottage Hospital completed attestation for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Stage 1 Meaningful Use (MU) certification on July 15, 2011, making it the first critical access hospital (CAH) in New England to achieve that milestone. Cottage Hospital was the second hospital of any kind in the state of New Hampshire to complete attestation for Stage 1 MU following the Elliot Health System of Manchester which attested on July 13.

To help bring higher quality and safer care to patients through broader adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), the ARRA HITECH Act of 2009 has provided incentives to hospitals and physicians who become “meaningful users” of EHRs. In achieving the Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria, Cottage is not only a leader in the state but also among the first healthcare providers nationally to demonstrate that it is using certified EHR technology in ways to improve clinical quality and care.

“The achievement to successfully reach Stage 1 Meaningful Use was the result of a total commitment by every department at Cottage, and the pivotal assistance of the Regional Extension Center of NH,” said Gary Tomlinson, Director of Management Information Systems. “At Cottage Hospital the patient always comes first, and enhancing patient care through the use of technology is the real accomplishment behind achieving Stage 1 Meaningful Use.”

“One of the most impressive aspects of Cottage’s rapid attestation for Stage I is that they accomplished the task with so few resources – this 25-bed hospital on the New Hampshire-Vermont border was able to achieve something that has so far eluded far larger organizations with much bigger teams and much deeper pockets,” said Jeff Loughlin, Executive Director, Regional Extension Center of New Hampshire (RECNH). “As an arm of the ONC supporting provider organizations in achieving meaningful use, we were honored to help Cottage by providing an experienced “sanity check” on its plan and approach, as well as some tools and support for ensuring the hospital’s readiness. Despite its size, Cottage is a true leader in the NH healthcare community and deserves every bit of recognition for this significant achievement.”

“Cottage Hospital’s vision to attain a full Electronic Health Record (EHR) was a strategic objective driven by the hospital leadership team and board of trustees. The initiative was started over seven years ago and the definition and guidance of Meaningful Use provided us with a clear road map of how to accomplish this goal,” said Steven Plant, Chief Financial Officer.

A CAH is designated as such by its State and by CMS for meeting the following criteria:
•       Participates in Medicare
•       Is located in a rural area and is more than a 35-mile (15 in mountainous
•       terrain) drive from any other hospital
•       Maintains no more than 25 inpatient beds
•       Maintains an annual average length of stay of 96 hours or less per patient
•       Complies with all CAH Conditions of Participation, including the requirement to make available 24-hour emergency care services 7 days per week

About Cottage Hospital
Cottage Hospital is a 25 bed, critical access hospital serving the beautiful Upper Connecticut River Valley. For additional information regarding Cottage Hospital and any of our services visit us on the web at or call (603)747-9000.

July 27, 2011 I Written By

NextGen Healthcare Expands Regional Extension Center Relationships and Critical Access Hospital Support

New Relationships with 10 RECs, Including CalHIPSO, and Rural Health Thought Leaders Reinforce the Company’s Commitment to Helping Providers Achieve Meaningful Use

HORSHAM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Quality Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: QSII) and a leading provider of healthcare information systems and connectivity solutions, announced today a partnership with California Health Information Partnership and Services Organizations (CalHIPSO), the regional extension center (REC) for all of California except Los Angeles and Orange County, to help primary care providers across the state achieve Meaningful Use.

The agreement is part of a significant expansion of NextGen Healthcare’s REC partnership program. This program now encompasses 90 percent of RECs that have completed vendor selection, established group purchasing options or chosen to remain neutral. The program also offers expanded support for the underserved critical access hospital market.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of our EHR vendor negotiation process. We have been able to leverage the volume of providers who are joining the Regional Extension Center to ensure the best possible value and functionality for our members. We look forward to working with NextGen Healthcare and our other EHR vendor partners over the coming years,” said Speranza Avram, M.P.A., Executive Director of CalHIPSO.

NextGen Healthcare was also recently named an EHR vendor partner by the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc., the REC in Kansas.

“Our committee of physicians and other regional stakeholders closely evaluated vendors not only for the features of their EHR technology, but for their willingness to work in the best interest of our physicians,” said Michael Aldridge, Vice President of Information Technology at the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc. “Completing this step in the process is a win for our REC, our EHR vendor partners and most importantly our providers. We’re very excited to move forward together to reach our Meaningful Use objectives and transform healthcare delivery in Kansas.”

Additional new relationships established between NextGen Healthcare and RECs include: eHealthConnecticut; CO-REC (Colorado);PA REACH East and PA REACH West (Pennsylvania); Ponce School of Medicine (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands); the South Florida Regional Extension Center; and the West Virginia Regional HIT Extension Center.

The company is also partnering with providers in Maryland, where existing NextGen Healthcare client Frederick Memorial Hospital of Frederick, Md., will lead local adoption and Meaningful Use of EHRs as a state-designated management service organization, subcontracted by the Maryland REC. A HIMSS Stage 6 hospital, Frederick Memorial is highly regarded for its state-of-the-art facilities and application of technology in the delivery of advanced care.

Supporting the critical access hospital market, NextGen Healthcare is working closely with Terry J. Hill, Executive Director of theNational Rural Health Resource Center, Duluth, Minn. Through activities such as speaking engagements and webinars, Hill and NextGen Healthcare are helping to educate RECs about the distinct needs of the rural health market and accelerate the RECs’ ability to assist critical access hospitals in earning stimulus incentives. The NRHRC is also a stakeholder in Key Health Alliance REACH, the regional extension center for Minnesota and North Dakota.

About NextGen Healthcare

NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Quality Systems, Inc., provides integrated clinical, financial and connectivity solutions for ambulatory, inpatient and dental provider organizations. For more information, please and Follow NextGen Healthcare on Twitter at or Facebook at


March 27, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 5 blogs containing over 11,000 articles with John having written over 5500 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 18 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.