Any medical provider who achieves meaningful use of certified EHRs may qualify for incentive payments up to $44,000 per provider from Medicare or up to $63,750 per provider from Medicaid to help overcome the financial barrier to EHR adoption. According to survey data released Jan. 13 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, four-fifths of the nation’s hospitals and 41 percent of office-based physicians intend to take advantage of federal incentive payments for adoption and meaningful use of certified EHR technology.
Once enrolled as a member, healthcare providers may access information technology advocacy services from AHIT, a REC program operated by Community Health Centers Alliance (CHCA), a non-profit health information technology leader with over a decade of experience in implementing and supporting these technologies across health centers in Florida.
Providers that enroll may receive the following services:
Access to prequalified, certified EHR vendors, group purchasing programs and organized provider advocacy on vendor relations
Discounted rates on best practice guidelines and toolkits for practice/workflow redesign, EHR contracting, EHR implementation and health IT training
Access to education for health IT and meaningful use guidelines
Access to privacy and security best practices
Partnering with local, state and national health information exchange
24x7 access to the AHIT Resource Center
The FMQAI staff will help each provider review eligibility standards and enroll. Enrollment is free for eligible providers. Non-eligible providers may join for a nominal fee. Area providers interested in enrolling can contact Diane Chronis at RECTeam@fmqai.com, or for more information on eligibility, visit AdvanceHealthIT.org or CMS.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms.
“Providers of today need to identify and acquire health information technology tools to adapt, grow and change with the new healthcare reforms,” said Diane Chronis, project director at FMQAI. “Support and resources are available through the AHIT Regional Extension Center program, giving providers access to the information necessary to help them achieve meaningful use with their EHRs, which ultimately benefits patients and improves overall public health.”
About FMQAI: Since 2004, FMQAI has helped more than 300 physician practices in Florida overcome barriers to adopting and effectively using EHRs to improve patient care. Located in Tampa, FMQAI works with federal, state and private clients on health care quality improvement, medical case review, electronic data reporting and health information technology and serves as an authorized outreach partner for the AHIT REC.
About AHIT: AHIT has been selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology as one of a select group of organizations throughout the U.S. designated as having the experience and capacity necessary to assist healthcare providers with the task of modernizing their practices with certified EHRs. Overall, the national HHS REC program has allocated $677 million to establish 62 centers nationwide, linking group practices, critical access hospitals, community health centers and related healthcare organizations through sustainable programs to deploy EHRs in those settings, connect healthcare organizations and establish meaningful use functionality.
AHIT is an organization of Community Health Centers Alliance, Inc., a member-supported 501(c) (3) serving not-for-profit healthcare providers. CHCA provides members with group purchasing and information technology services that allow its providers to benefit from economies of scale and improve patient care in the communities they serve through critical healthcare information systems services and management.
CHCA wishes to acknowledge support from the Office of the National Coordinator, Department of Health and Human Services, Award #90RC0051/01.
Diane Chronis, FMQAI
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FMQAI is Florida’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) and the End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network of Florida. As the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for Florida and ESRD Network 7, FMQAI is under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
As a healthcare quality improvement organization, FMQAI works with providers in Hospitals, Physician Offices, Nursing Homes, and many other provider settings to implement projects focused on improving the care provided to over three million Medicare beneficiaries in Florida. FMQAI’s mission is to ensure the quality, effectiveness, efficiency, and economy of health care services provided to Medicare beneficiaries.