Solution Providers Making Headway With EHR Deployments

Greenway Medical, athenahealth land EHR deals as health care organizations, eyeing millions in incentives, push to implement EHR technology and meet meaningful use standards.

Greenway Medical Technologies Inc. and athenahealth Inc., two providers of technology solutions for the health care industry, separately have landed significant projects to deploy electronic health record (EHR) equipment and services, as medical organizations and practitioners push to qualify for nearly $20 billion in incentives offered under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009.

Greenway, a Carrollton, GA-based health care technology solutions provider, has secured a $5.5 million contract to provide the Iowa Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (HITREC) with a statewide implementation of its flagship PrimeSuite EHR solution.

PrimeSuite is Greenway’s integrated EHR, practice management and interoperability solution integrating clinical, financial and administrative data in one database.

athenahealth, a $188 million provider of a proprietary web-based practice management and EHR software based in Watertown, MA, signed an agreement to provide health IT services to Capella Healthcare, a Franklin, TN-headquartered hospital management organization.

Capella, which operates thirteen hospitals in seven states and maintains a network of 130 physicians, said that athenahealth will provide its athenaClinicals EHR service, which helps physicians qualify for federal stimulus funds, to affiliated members.

Capella said it will take advantage of athenahealth’s guarantee, issued last September, that any physician signing on for athenaClinicals between now and January, 2011 will receive a federal stimulus payment.

Health care providers adopting EHR and meeting meaningful use rules by 2011 and 2012 can receive 44,000 in federal stimulus money over a five-year period.

Iowa REC program impacts 1,200 provider practices

The Iowa Foundation for Medical Care (IFMC), a health information management organization that administers the REC program in Iowa, estimates that 60 percent of its physician groups keep records and patient information on paper.

Some 1,200 physician practices in Iowa are targeted by the RECs for conversion to electronic record-keeping, IFMC officials said. The RECs deliver outreach, education and technical support to help primary care providers adopt and implement EHR technology.

“We are confident that our preferred EHR providers can help more than 1,200 physicians, physician's assistants and nurse practitioners throughout the state of Iowa," said Kim Downs, IFMC senior director of operations.

"EHR selection can be a difficult task for providers when there are more than 200 EHRs available in the marketplace,” Downs said. “We are confident that Greenway can help them achieve meaningful use and receive their incentive payment."

The Iowa EHR engagement adds to earlier contracts Greenway landed with the New York City Regional Electronic Adoption Center (NYC REACH) and the state of New York’s eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) totaling some $48.2 million.

"As with Greenway's previous REC selections, we are fully invested in the core EHR functionalities and data exchange proving meaningful to individual practices and to a fully-realized national health information network," said Tee Green, Greenway chief executive.

Capella’s deal with athenahealth to improve clinical connectivity

Capella said that its agreement with athenahealth will help it to establish a new clinical connectivity platform to advance the transfer and sharing of information among its members, resulting in improved patient care and lowered costs.

Michael Wiechart, Capella senior vice president and chief operating officer, said that its agreement with athenahealth will enable its affiliated and owned physician practices to “fully participate in emerging incentive programs” and “achieve quality-of-care goals and execute on physician community connectivity strategies.”

Jonathan Bush, athenahealth chairman and chief executive said that Capella’s physicians will benefit from the solution provider’s experience and knowledge.

"By embracing our integrated EHR and practice management services, Capella physicians can benefit from the collective clinical and operational knowledge and best practices of thousands of medical groups around the nation, in turn allowing them to increase their own clinical and operational performance,” Bush said.

HHS REC program grants $600 million to advance EHR technology

Nationwide, the HHS REC programs have granted upwards of $600 million to set up 60 centers linking group practices, hospitals, community health centers and other health care organizations with two-year engagements to deploy EHR technology.

The federal government expects that the regional extension center program will support at least 100,000 primary care providers in the U.S. to move to EHR technology.

TAGS: federal government,ARRA,stimulus,EHR,physician

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