HITECH Act’s Incentives Can Help Providers Improve Patient Care

Diana Ost, Dell enterprise technology blogger | 3/14/2012 | 4 comments

Diana Ost
Healthcare providers know quite well that pending legislation and new regulations can have a profound effect on them and their patients.

The IDC-10 requirement deadline in 2013 is looming, and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 -- which covers digital record-keeping with electronic health records (EHRs) -- has multiple cutoff dates; some in 2012 and others that stretch to 2015.

Compliance deadlines can put pressure on providers, but the HITECH Act comes with an unusual gift: government cash incentives for providers accepting Medicare or Medicaid.

For early adopters and those who comply by the required dates to implement an approved EHR system in their practice, hospital, or long-term care center, the incentives can be significant.

  • Medicare: Eligible professionals for the EHR Incentive Program can receive up to $44,000 over a five-year period. Additional incentives may be available for providers in health shortage areas (HSPAs). Hospitals also are eligible for incentive payments -- starting with a $2 million base payment -- if certain factors are met. Registration and participation for Medicare-eligible professionals must begin now -- in 2012. And meaningful use does not have to be demonstrated until 2015, so there’s time to meet those criteria.
  • Medicaid: Providers eligible for Medicaid payments can receive up to $63,750, even though the program is voluntary and provided at the state or territory level. If you have questions about incentives, contact your state Medicaid agency for assistance. Find your state on the list from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

However, benefits can mean more than just cash. With EHRs, healthcare providers also can see gains in patient care.

In a recent case study, Tom Hornburg, IT director at Mason General Hospital, said, “Technology makes patient care more efficient, making for better outcomes. We’ll be able to meet all of the Stage 1 criteria for Meaningful Use that HITECH requires... and we’ll receive the maximum reimbursement in stimulus funds.”

And Mason General has seen other benefits. Server virtualization has eliminated hardware maintenance downtime. The datacenter enjoys easy deployment for new servers. A bonus: Less physical space is needed for the couple of servers it needs to run its 40 virtual machines.

But the time efficiencies have been the best -- for the hospital and the patients.

“More timely access to information directly impacts patient care, because we’re able to view trends and benchmarks and react faster,” Hornburg said.

That’s where the benefits of using EHRs are visible. And having extra funds to help pay for EHRs doesn’t hurt either.

Learn more:
Read how IT efficiency saved an hour and a half each day for Mason General Hospital’s ER users in a related post: In the ER, IT Efficiency Matters.

Take the next step:
To speak with an expert on health IT solutions, contact Dell Healthcare.

Follow me (@DianaAtDell) on Twitter.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
DianaOAtDell   HITECH Act’s Incentives Can Help Providers Improve Patient Care   3/30/2012 5:42:27 PM
Re: Common or Uncommon Compliance?

You post a very good question about getting reliable information. There are several options you might try. For dependabilty, my suggestion is to stick with the government agencies that work with the HITECH Act rules. 

  • One of the best sources I found when researching this blog postig was at CMS.gov. CMS.gov has created lots of online materials that may help your organization. They also offer training and training materials. Go to http://www.cms.gov and search on "HITECH" to retrieve a list of documents related to the HITECH Act. 
  • More information is availble at http://www.healthit.hhs.gov/programs. If you don't find what you are looking for, call the agency directly and see if someone can point you to the resource you need. 
  • You can also contact the office of your congressional representative and ask them to help you find a source, if you havent found what you need from the agencies directly. 

Good luck! 


Paul - WI Government   HITECH Act’s Incentives Can Help Providers Improve Patient Care   3/30/2012 4:46:15 PM
Re: Common or Uncommon Compliance?
Hello Diana,

Is there a "dependable" source for dates for HITECH disclosure functionality?  We have no EHR system, but are working to implement one.  Is 1/1/13 the date that we need to hit, or can it be the day that we implement the EHR? 
DianaOAtDell   HITECH Act’s Incentives Can Help Providers Improve Patient Care   3/15/2012 5:51:23 PM
Re: Common or Uncommon Compliance?
Thanks for the good comments! From what I have read, only about bewteen 48% and 51% (depending on the source) of healthcare providers are in a place where they are ready to meet enough HITECH Act requirements to get compensation. Most of the expert discussions around this issue point to concerns with meeting security requirements that need to be in place for HITECH compliance. To further add to the workload, healthcare providers are also dealing with new HIPPA rules deadlines, some of which were due by January of this year, and others, such as the new ICD-10 coding requirements, must be in place by October 2013. This is a very busy time for our healthcare providers, but I hope the majority can do what is necessary to take advantage of the breaks created by the HITECH Act. 
Broadway   HITECH Act’s Incentives Can Help Providers Improve Patient Care   3/14/2012 10:57:12 PM
Common or Uncommon Compliance?
@Diana, fascinating blog. Thank you for explaining the benefits of HITECH compliance-- legislative and operational. Quick question for you: what's your sense for the proportion of healthcare organizations that are prepared for 2013 and poised to reap the benefits of early compliance?

The blogs and comments posted on EnterpriseEfficiency.com do not reflect the views of TechWeb, EnterpriseEfficiency.com, or its sponsors. EnterpriseEfficiency.com, TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Enterprise Delliberation
Diana Ost   3/15/2012   9 comments
The Red Cross is familiar to most Americans. To those who have experienced recent natural disasters like the wildfires in Texas and California, hurricanes in Louisiana and Florida, and ...
Diana Ost   12/15/2011   3 comments
Given the forecaster's global audience and extensive monitoring systems, AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Inc. has been facing an ever-increasing flood of data, shrinking storage space, ...
Diana Ost   12/6/2011   0 comments
Tomorrow, Dec. 7, attend the free, live Webinar, "Accelerating Big Data Analytics over Hadoop Clusters with InfiniBand."
Diana Ost   11/29/2011   6 comments
Move over, Sim City. Healthcare professionals have a new virtual environment to stroll around in: Dell's new Discover Healthcare IT interactive tool, launched on November 17.
Latest Archived Broadcast
We talk with Bernard Golden about accelerating application delivery in the cloud.
On-demand Video with Chat
Register for this video discussion to learn how tablets can provide true business usability and productivity.
4/23/2014 - Dell Compellent performance and features make it an outstanding storage platform for SQL Server. Register for this webinar now.
4/29/2014 - Join Dell and Intel for an interactive discussion about implementing, refining and improving your virtual environment. Specifically we’ll discuss pain points virtualization can solve and those that it can create and how to prevent them.
E2 IT Migration Zones
IT Migration Zone - UK
Why PowerShell Is Important
Reduce the Windows 8 Footprint for VDI
Rethinking Storage Management
IT Migration Zone - FR
SQL Server : 240 To de mémoire flash pour votre data warehouse
Quand Office vient booster les revenus Cloud et Android de Microsoft
Windows Phone : Nokia veut davantage d'applications (et les utilisateurs aussi)
IT Migration Zone - DE
Cloud Computing: Warum Unternehmen trotz NSA auf die „private“ Wolke setzen sollten
Cloud Computing bleibt Wachstumsmarkt – Windows Azure ist Vorreiter
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Enterprise Efficiency Twitter Feed
Site Moderators Wanted
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
Dell's Efficiency Modeling Tool
The major problem facing the CIO is how to measure the effectiveness of the IT department. Learn how Dell’s Efficiency Modeling Tool gives the CIO two clear, powerful numbers: Efficiency Quotient and Impact Quotient. These numbers can be transforma¬tive not only to the department, but to the entire enterprise.

Read the full report
The State of Enterprise Efficiency in the Virtual Era: Virtualization – Smart Approaches to Maximize Gains
Virtualization is a presence in nearly all enterprise data centers. But not all companies are using it to its best effect. Learn the common characteristics of success, what barriers companies face, and how to get the most from your efforts.

Read the full report
Informed CIO: Dollars & Sense: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Cut through the VDI hype and get the full picture -- including ROI and the impact on your Data Center -- to make an informed decision about your virtual desktop infrastructure deployments.

Read the full report
A Video Case Study – Translational Genomics Research Institute
e2 Video

On the Case
TGen IT: Where We're Going Next

7|11|12   |   08:12   |   10 comments

Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
On the Case
Better Care Through Better Communications

6|6|12   |   02:24   |   12 comments

The achievements of the TGen/Dell project could improve how all people receive healthcare, because they are creating ways to improve end-to-end communication of medical data.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Are Now

5|15|12   |   06:58   |   5 comments

TGen is breaking new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Were

4|27|12   |   06:45   |   10 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
On the Case
1,200% Faster

4|18|12   |   02:27   |   12 comments

Through their partnership, Dell and TGen have increased the speed of TGen’s medical research by 1,200 percent.
On the Case
IT May Improve Children's Chances of Survival

4|17|12   |   02:12   |   8 comments

IT is helping medical researchers reach breakthroughs in a way and pace never seen before.
On the Case
Medical Advances in the Cloud

4|10|12   |   1:25   |   5 comments

TGen and Dell are pushing the boundaries of computing, and harnessing the power of the cloud to improve healthcare.
On the Case
TGen: Living the Mission

4|9|12   |   2:25   |   3 comments

TGen's CIO puts the organizational mission at the heart of everything the IT staff does.
On the Case
TGen Speeding Up Biomedical Research to Save More Lives

4|5|12   |   1:59   |   8 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute is revamping its computing to improve speed, storage, and collaboration – and, most importantly, to save lives.
On the Case
Computing Power Helping to Save Children's Lives

3|28|12   |   2:13   |   3 comments

The Translational Genomics Institute’s partnership with Dell is enabling them to treat kids with neuroblastoma more quickly and save more lives.
Tom Nolle
The Big Reason to Use Office

3|18|14   |   02:24   |   19 comments

Office and personal productivity tools come in a first-class and coach flavor set, but what makes the difference is primarily little things that most users won't encounter. What's the big issue in using something other than Office, and can you get around it?
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Mobile Security — A Use Case

3|4|14   |   04:27   |   6 comments

New mobile security solutions can accommodate a wide array of needs, including those of a complex university environment.
Tom Nolle
Killing Net Neutrality Might Save You Money

1|16|14   |   2:13   |   11 comments

The DC Court of Appeals voided most of the Neutrality Order, and whatever it might mean for the Internet overall, it might mean better and cheaper Internet VPNs for businesses.
Tom Nolle
The Internet of Everythinguseful

1|10|14   |   2:18   |   19 comments

We really don't want an "Internet of Everything" but even building an Internet of Everythinguseful means setting some ground rules to insure there's value in the process and that costs and risks are minimized.
Tom Nolle
Maturing Google Chrome

12|30|13   |   2.18   |   25 comments

Google's Chrome OS has a lot of potential value and a lot of recent press, but it still needs something to make it more than a thin client. It needs cloud integration, it needs extended APIs via web services, and it needs to suck it up and support a hard drive.
Sara Peters
No More Cookie-Cutter IT

12|23|13   |   03.58   |   21 comments

Creating the right combination of technology, people, and processes for your IT organization is a lot like baking Christmas cookies.
Sara Peters
Smart Wigs Not a Smart Idea

12|5|13   |   3:01   |   46 comments

Sony is seeking a patent for wigs that contain computing devices.
Tom Nolle
Cloud in the Wild

12|4|13   |   02:23   |   15 comments

On a recent African trip I saw examples of the value of the cloud in developing nations, for educational and community development programs. We could build on this, but not only in developing economies, because these same programs are often under-supported even in first-world countries.
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Is Malware Evading Your IPS?

11|18|13   |   03:16   |   4 comments

Intrusion prevention software is supposed to detect and block malware intrusions, but clever malware authors can evade your IPS in these five main ways.
Sara Peters
Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

9|27|13   |   3:15   |   38 comments

A good professional mentor can change your life for the better... but where do you find one?
Tom Nolle
SDN Wars & You Could Win

9|17|13   |   2:10   |   5 comments

VMware's debate with Cisco on SDN might finally create a fusion between an SDN view that's all about software and another that's all about network equipment. That would be good for every enterprise considering the cloud and SDN.
Ivan Schneider
The Future of the Smart Watch

9|12|13   |   3:19   |   39 comments

Wearing a bulky, oversized watch is good training for the next phase in wristwatches: the Internet-enabled, connected watch. Why the smartphone-tethered connected watch makes sense, plus Ivan demos an entirely new concept for the "smart watch."
Tom Nolle
Cutting Your Cloud Storage Costs

9|4|13   |   2:06   |   3 comments

Cloud storage costs are determined primarily by the rate at which files are changed and the possibility of concurrent access/update. If you can structure your storage use to optimize these factors you can cut costs, perhaps to zero.
Sara Peters
Do CIOs Need an IT Background?

8|29|13   |   2:11   |   23 comments

Most of the CIOs interviewed in the How to Become a CIO series did not start their careers as IT professionals. So is an IT background essential?
Ivan Schneider
The Internet Loves Birthdays

8|27|13   |   3:25   |   69 comments

The Internet has evolved into a machine for drumming up a chorus of "Happy Birthday" messages, from family, friends, friends of friends who you added on Facebook, random people that you circled on G+, and increasingly, automated bots. Enough already.