government

Final 2 companies named to help ease switch to EMRs

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 11, 2010

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The government selected the last two companies to serve as regional extension centers, completing a national system of 62 organizations that will help physicians, clinics and hospitals move from paper-based records to electronic medical record systems.

David Blumenthal, MD, national coordinator for health information technology, announced Sept. 28 that CalOptima Foundation will cover Orange County, Calif., as a REC, and Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative will cover New Hampshire. Each organization received two-year contracts.

RECs were created under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health Act, part of the economic stimulus bill of 2009.

The RECs' mission is to help eligible primary care physicians in smaller practices adopt EMR systems that will prove them "meaningful users," making them eligible to collect Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments created under the stimulus law. RECs will serve as a resource for all health care providers in a given area, assisting any doctor, hospital or clinic requesting help.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/10/11/gvbf1011.htm.

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