Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to Help Medical Assistance Providers Switch to Electronic Health Records

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To improve the efficiency of Pennsylvania's Medical Assistance Program and enhance patient care, acting Secretary of Public Welfare Gary Alexander today announced a new program to give participating providers an incentive to switch to electronic health records.

The department has begun registering providers for the federally funded incentive program, making Pennsylvania one of the first states to offer such help. More than 2.3 million Pennsylvania residents are eligible to receive Medical Assistance.

"Switching from using paper medical records to electronic records is a proven way to boost the health and safety of Medical Assistance patients," Alexander said. "By offering incentives, the commonwealth is helping medical providers move more quickly into the electronic age, which ultimately benefits patients and taxpayers through increased efficiency and reduced costs."

The program will provide incentive payments to eligible medical professionals and hospitals as they implement technology related to electronic health records. Eligible providers can receive funding from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assist with the purchase or upgrade of an electronic health records system.

Medical Assistance providers can register for the incentive program by visiting www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/ or learn more about Pennsylvania's initiative by visiting www.pamahealthit.org.

For more information about the Department of Public Welfare, visit the department's website at www.dpw.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Michael Race, 717-425-7606

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare

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