Business

GE offers EMR financing

The move follows a trend of vendors making it easier for physicians to buy health technology.

By Pamela Lewis Dolan — Posted June 30, 2009

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

GE announced in June the launch of a new financing program aimed at helping physician practices and small hospitals adopt electronic medical record systems.

The company said its program, Stimulus Simplicity, will help physicians address two of the largest barriers to EMR adoption: uncertainty around future standards and a lack of up-front funding for the purchase of a system.

Vishal Wanchoo, president and CEO of GE Healthcare IT, officially announced the program on June 15. But Wanchoo first told American Medical News about GE's financing plan in April at the annual conference of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

The conference was held just weeks after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act had been signed into law. The promise of incentive money advancing adoption of health information technology was the talk of the conference, but many physicians in attendance expressed concern that they would not have the cash to make the purchase.

GE and other vendors AMNews spoke to at HIMSS said they were working on financing options for physician practices that would be similar to those offered to large hospital groups. With studies showing the failure rate of EMR implementations at about 50%, and many more stories of the systems causing a drop in productivity and revenue, loans to practices were sometimes considered too risky.

Because the incentives can provide up to $44,000 per physician and could easily cover the cost of an average system, which runs about $30,000, vendors are now considering small practices to be a safer bet.

GE has made about $100 million available for the program. Part of the money will help fund GE's guarantee that any systems purchased through the program will meet so-called "meaningful use" requirements necessary for physicians to qualify for the incentive pay.

Under GE's program, a joint project between GE Healthcare and GE Capital, the company's financing arm, payments will be deferred until the incentive bonuses start in 2011.

The Hazard Clinic, a small practice in the Appalachian region of Kentucky, was one of the first to take advantage of the financing program. Practice administrator Stephanie Wooten called it a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for a rural clinic like hers.

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn