To encourage more widespread adoption of health information technology (HIT) in physicians' offices, the federal government is offering incentive payments to Medicare- and Medicaid-participating doctors who demonstrate meaningful use of an electronic medical record (EMR). Congress has earmarked $19 billion in the economic stimulus package to help physicians purchase and implement EMRs. Incentive payments are available from 2011 to 2016, while reductions in Medicare payments begin in 2015 for physicians who fail to implement EMRs.
Download the show now. This installment of podcast TMA addresses making the transition from a paper-based records system to an EMR. The cover story of the May 2009 issue of Texas Medicine magazine takes a look at the impact of HIT on medical practice. Today, Joseph Schneider, MD, a pediatrician, chief medical information officer of the Baylor Health Care System, and chair of TMA's Health Information Technology Committee, and David Fleeger, MD, an Austin colon and rectal surgeon and immediate past chair of TMA's Council on Practice Management Services, discuss what the $19 billion in HIT funding means for Texas physicians. This installment covers:
- The role of the physician in developing HIT infrastructure and policies;
- Pitfalls physicians need to be aware of when switching to an EMR;
- TMA resources that help physicians purchase and implement an EMR; and
- Advice for physicians who are hesitant to embrace HIT.
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