Ohio Leads Nation in Physician Sign-Ups for EHRs

The Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP), Jan.6, announced that 2,007 physicians have signed contracts  with OHIP and its seven regional partners for help in implementing electronic medical records (EHRs).

Ohio is part of a national effort to improve the health care system so physicians, hospitals, healthcare facilities, pharmacies and other entities can electronically and securely share patient information. Utilizing stimulus monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 of $28.3 million, Ohio’s goal is to reach 6,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals in 2011. Statistics compiled by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, show Ohio has reached one-third of its targeted goal.

OOA Executive Director Jon Wills, who is also interim vice chairman of OHIP's  Board,  said its important for DOs who are primary care specialists to sign up for OHIP's services while slots are still available."   

“Now is the time to implement EHRs to qualify for federal incentives and free assistance," Wills said.  "Cost effective and quality  health care in the future will require all physicians and hospitals to adopt EHRs and share health information across the state and nation,” Wills said. “We're proud to be leaders in a movement that’s long overdue.”

A signed contract with OHIP means doctors will get free assistance from regional partners to prepare for and select an EHR vendor, lower pricing for software from preferred vendors, and access to low-interest loans from four banks. In addition, physicians and other eligible professionals can receive Medicare and Medicaid financial incentives over the next several years, with top amounts at $44,000 per physician for Medicare and $63,750 for Medicaid. The earlier physicians sign up, the higher the incentive they receive. For more information on how OHIP can help you visit www.ohiponline.org .

OHIP is a nonprofit, state-designated entity responsible for establishing regional extension centers to assist physicians and hospitals with information technology and for creating the infrastructure for a health information exchange in the state. The partnership includes the Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association, Ohio Hospital Association, BioOhio and the State of Ohio. OHIP is funded through the Office of the National Coordinator, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, grant numbers 90RC0012 and 90HT0024.

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