Federal Grant / Stimulus for Increasing Electronic Health Record (EHR) Implementation in Primary Care Practices FAQs

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1 Federal Grant / Stimulus for Increasing Electronic Health Record (EHR) Implementation in Primary Care Practices FAQs 1. What is the purpose of the HIT REC federal grant? The HIT REC (Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center) is a national initiative of the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) to encourage the use of electronic health records in primary care practices. On September 17, 2009, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave formal authority to Dr. David Blumenthal, the national coordinator for health information technology (HIT), to administer grants and loans to promote the adoption of HIT under the ARRA. In the notice, the national coordinator is given authority to administer grants to: - Invest in infrastructure to support the nationwide exchange of health information, including architecture, training, and dissemination of best practices; - Assist health care providers to adopt electronic health records through regional extension centers and research centers; and - Provide state grants to promote HIT and grants to states and Indian tribes to develop loan programs for electronic health records. For additional information, please refer to the following fact sheet What is Quality Insights of Pennsylvania (QIP)? QIP is the Medicare quality improvement organization for Pennsylvania, leading a collaboration of organizations in Pennsylvania to apply for a statewide REC grant to help practices evaluate, choose, and implement EHR systems to achieve the status of meaningful use. 3. What is the purpose of QIP? QIP works with health care providers to ensure that every person receives the right care every time. QIP assists providers in transforming quality to make health care: Safe Effective Patient-centered Timely Efficient Equitable 4. Which organizations in the state of Pennsylvania were chosen to make up the QIP REC Collaborative?

2 - The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania ehealth Initiative - Pennsylvania Medical Society - Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and UPMC Health Plan 5. What is the PA HIT REC? Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center of Pennsylvania. 6. What is the purpose of the HIT REC in Pennsylvania? HIT REC in Pennsylvania will use the combined health care industry expertise, technology capabilities, and market presence of each organization to offer a comprehensive suite of educational and technical services to organizations that are designated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish an Extension Center. The services provided will better enable the PA REC to immediately help a wide array of physicians and health care organizations prepare for EHR implementation and meaningful use requirements. The HIT Regional Extension Program was created with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of The Regional Extension Centers will provide technical assistance and disseminate best practices regarding HIT implementation. HHS plans to establish up to 70 Extension Centers, with the target being the least-advantaged providers those struggling with implementation and adoption including public and critical access hospitals, Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers, rural providers, and physician practices focused on primary care. 7. Will all practices be eligible for the grant? No, only primary care practices (family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and ob-gyn) with 10 or fewer prescribing providers within an organization (single Tax Identification Number [TIN]) in the state of Pennsylvania. Primary care practices with more than 10 physicians may be eligible to apply, but for no more than 10 of their providers. 8. What is the purpose of the PMS [NEED TO DEFINE] and QIP co-branded flyer?

3 The purpose of the flyer is to secure support from physicians to participate in the PA REC. It is not a binding commitment, but rather a letter to determine physicians interest in receiving further information regarding services provided through the PA REC. Such services include assistance to: - Evaluate and select the right EHR system for the practice - Purchase EHR software through a group purchasing arrangement - Analyze workflow to maximize the practice s new EHR system - Develop an EHR implementation work plan - Implement the practice s EHR - Become eligible for Medicare or Medicaid incentives - Ensure that the practice s existing or newly implemented EHR system qualifies for the maximum level of federal incentives beginning in If the practice has already chosen or already implemented an EHR, is the practice still eligible to participate in the grant? Yes, the practice is eligible to receive assistance on workflow redesign and system optimization to get to meaningful use. 10. What is the practice being asked to do? If the practice is interested in being considered for EHR implementation assistance (new or existing EHRs) in the next 12 months, please: 1. Complete the Request for EHR Assistance (page 2 of the flyer the practice received); 2. Include a list of the physicians names, specialty, and NPI numbers; 3. Fax both items no later than Wednesday, October 28, 2009, to Darlene Kauffman PA Medical Society

4 11. When is the reply due? The physician s confirmation of interest in the Request for EHR Assistance is due no later than Wednesday, October 28, 2009, and should be sent via fax (following the instructions on the document). 12. Why are practices being asked to respond in such a short window of time (about one week in length)? Each state s QIP must report the aggregate number of practices (and physicians) interested in EHR implementation assistance to the federal government by November 3, Is there a cost to participate in this national initiative if chosen? Qualified practices will receive free, or significantly discounted, consulting services. The specific pricing and business model is under development. 14. What are examples of the consulting services, and who will provide these services to the practices? The consulting services will include assistance from the organizations that make up the QIP / HIT REC* to: - Select the right EHR system for the practice - Purchase EHR software through a group purchasing arrangement - Analyze workflow to maximize the practice s new EHR system - Develop an EHR implementation work plan - Implement the practice s EHR - Become eligible for Medicare or Medicaid incentives - Ensure that the practice s existing or newly implemented EHR system qualifies for the maximum level of federal incentives beginning in 2011 *These organizations, including UPMC and UPMC Health Plan, have extensive experience in assisting practices in each of the areas outlined above.

5 15. Will the QIP have the ability to provide information on a variety of EHRs (including cost, appropriateness for the practice/population, functionality, etc.) in order for the practice to choose the most suitable system? Yes, the QIP will be armed to provide consultative information and advice related to numerous EHR vendor solutions. 16. When will the QIP receive notification if it has been awarded the federal government grant? Notification is expected in the first quarter of How long is this initiative expected to last? Federal support continues for four years, after which the program is expected to be selfsustaining.

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