HHS moves ahead with $150M EMR plan

Following up on a promise made last year, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt has officially proposed a $150 million plan which would give physicians incentives to use EMRs. A dozen communities can take part in the pilot program, and 100 physicians in each community can come on board. The plan, which would take place over five years, would give higher Medicare reimbursements (levels still unspecified) to physicians in smaller practices who use EMRs. Right now, Leavitt noted, only 15 percent or so of physicians in small practices are currently using EMRs. The downside, arguably, is that HHS doesn't plan to buy anyone an EMR. Under Leavitt's proposal, physicians must pay for the EMR upfront, defraying the costs later thanks to the incentives the plan generates.

To learn more about the program:
- read this Associated Press piece

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