Louisiana may subsidize health IT adoption

Like their federal counterparts, Louisiana officials are looking for ways to subsidize adoption of EMRs by physicians. The state is low-tech even by pre-EMR standards--in fact, prior to the 2005 hurricane season, nearly 20 percent of physicians in Louisiana didn't have computers in their offices. After Katrina hit, HHS gave the state a $3.7 million grant to develop a RHIO prototype tying together eight facilities in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Now, state officials are looking at ways to help physicians afford EMRs, which can cost $10,000 per year for the first five years, according to Roxane Townsend, state deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals. Meanwhile, other health IT stakeholders in the state are suggesting that pushing consumer PHR adoption might be faster and more cost-effective.

To find out more about the state's plans:
- read this article from The Shreveport Times

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