IBM Strikes Financing Deals with Providers of Electronic Medical Records Technology

Vendor extends private IT financing to healthcare organizations and practitioners.

December 30, 2009

D.H. Kass

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IBM Corp. said that its Global Financing unit will provide underwriting services to four providers of technology used to advance electronic record-keeping, clinical software solutions and information management among healthcare organizations and practitioners.

The offer is important because it addresses a high priority on the government’s list of infrastructure projects, namely, the large-scale modernizing of electronic healthcare records, known as EHR, as reflected by the backing of some $20 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly referred to as the stimulus package.

Even with the federal financial support, healthcare organizations frequently lack the funds to pursue the EHR technology or cannot bridge the gap between the required investment and reimbursement from the government.

IBM said that its financing packages are designed to help healthcare organizations do just that.

The vendor said that it has offered competitive rate financing options to EHR providers Siemens Healthcare, Lavender & Wyatt Systems Inc., Healthcare Management Systems and SCC Soft Computer to extend to their customers.

All four companies participate in IBM’s Business Partner program.

“Customers of electronic healthcare records solutions soon realize that while health IT technology is necessary, it’s also expensive,” said Richard Dicks, IBM Global Financing general manager, North America.

“Technology financing helps speed up implementation in a more cost effective manner,” he said.

EHR financing options offered to four IBM Business Partners

Siemens’, headquartered in Malvern, PA and Erlangen, Germany, will receive financing from IBM for its clinical and revenue cycle management solutions, including Invision, MedSeries4 and Soarian. IBM infrastructure and healthcare consulting solutions may also be financed as part of a customer solution.

“Siemens Healthcare knows first-hand how important financing has become to helping hospitals, physician practices and specialty clinics to bridge the financial gap and match costs to benefits while implementing new solutions under the ARRA’s Hi-tech provision,” said Joe Gaetano, Siemens vice president, ARRA program office.

Lavender & Wyatt Systems Inc., a Little Rock, AR-based IBM Premier Business Partner, provides information management solutions for behavioral healthcare providers, many of which are non-profit, community behavioral health agencies.

The company said that in the past nine months it had signed agreements with a number of new agencies that are leveraging IBM Global Financing to help trigger their electronic healthcare records installations.

“We feel that helping our clients connect the dots between federal grants and loans, charity pricing and IBM Global Financing options stretches their dollars available for LWSI’s Essentia solution,” said Brad Feller, LWSI president.

Feller said that LWSI provides customers with an IGF quote with every proposal.

Healthcare Management Systems, Inc., an IBM Business Partner based in Nashville, TN, is a supplier of clinical and financial software solutions to more than 600 community hospitals in the U.S. One of its solutions, HMS Patient Care Documentation, offers online patient charting.

Mike Freeman, HMS senior vice president of sales, said that the IBM Global Financing option will help the company’s hospital clients get the HMS solution implemented faster.

SCC Soft Computer, an IBM Business Partner based in Clearwater, FL, is a supplier of clinical information management systems for the healthcare industry.

An IBM spokesperson said that since the vendor announced the EHR financing program, a number of other EHR providers have contacted the company to request inclusion in the IGF initiative.

TAGS: IBM,financing,ARRA,IBM Global Financing,electronic health records

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