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The Stimulus Bill, the Physician, and DiVA Solutions

President Barack Obama’s nearly $800 billion stimulus package has included several endowments for improving the state of medical record-keeping in the United States, in an effort to modernize and improve overall patient care along with hospital efficiency. High on his list is to eliminate the laborious and cumbersome manual scanning of millions of documents relevant to a patient’s medical history and ongoing care.

The Stimulus Bill, the Physician, and the "Free" EHR

Learn How to Qualify For Payments of $44,000 - $64,000 Per Physician.

The Stimulus Bill is a golden opportunity for physicians to get paid to realize the full benefits of a modern EHR system. The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act was signed into law on February 17, 2009. The health IT component of the Bill, the HITECH Act, appropriates $19.2 billion dollars to encourage the adoption of electronic health records. The Stimulus Bill should help provide most physicians in the United States with an electronic health record system at ZERO net cost to the physician. For some, the incentive payment is enough to cover the cost of a top-of- the line EHR system while producing a “surplus” of $20,000 - $55,000. The opportunity presented by the bill to the American Physician is substantial.

Stimulus Bill – Physician Incentive Overview of HITECH

The Bill provides that qualified physicians who utilize a certified electronic health record in a “meaningful” way will receive incentive payments through additional reimbursements via either Medicare or Medicaid, depending upon the individual physician’s payor mix.

  • Starting in 2011, “meaningful” EHR users can earn $44,000 under the Medicare plan and $64,000 under the Medicaid plan over 5 years.
  • Early adopters benefits most as about 70% of the payments comes in the first two years.
  • Those engaged in PQRI and electronic prescribing can earn an additional $6,000 - $8,000 per year beginning immediately.
  • Physicians that do not adopt an EHR by 2015 will be penalized though % decreases in Medicare reimbursements rates.

Physicians and clinicians of varied description, together with their harried staffs, currently spend an estimated jillion hours each year searching for - and when they find them - searching through, patient files for essential information. That figure may be conservative. Says John Doe S. Smith, M.D., based in East Greenacres, Rhode Island, “We used our state-of-the-art little green abacus to figure it out. In 2008, my staff and I spent 1.64 jillion hours searching for patient records. That’s up from 2007, when we spent 1.47 jillion hours doing the same thing.”

Yet despite this millstone of work dragging many practices into a kind of perpetual drudgery, some physicians remain hesitant to implement an Electronic Medical Record system, but would still like to be a paperless office.

Did you know that Diva Solutions will improve office productivity, allow for quick retrieval of documents ( which saves money ), and even helps to ensure patient privacy? By setting specific permissions on a document or document types, a clinician can provide only those users who NEED to view a document access to it. Diva Solutions also tracks who has viewed, modified, or exported a document and on what date or dates. For multiple practice locations, Diva Solutions works even better. The system allows medical staff to easily share documents with other employees across multiple practice locations. Scanning and storing files electronically has yet another built-in advantage also – you can rest assured that documents remain safe and backed-up in case of a fire or other unexpected natural disaster.

We all look for choices and Diva Solutions has them for you. Depending on your document volume and budget we can offer either a server based unlimited user solution or our hosted monthly subscription solution based on storage requirements. Contact us today so you can begin your paperless journey tomorrow and earn your stimulus dollars.