HITECH ACT

Career, Health IT

If someone in your circle is working in a health sector or health IT sector, I am sure you must have heard about the MU (Meaningful Use) standards. MU program was introduced by U.S. government as a part of 2009 HITECH Act. Let’s get deeper knowledge around HITECH Act and then we will come back to Meaningful Use (MU) in my next post.

What is HITECH Act?

It’s the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act enacted is a part of former President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package and meant to stimulate industry-wide EHR (Electronic Health Record) adoption.

Background:

1967 is the time when computer use to take an entire room. Medical researchers began to record their findings electronically, but scalability and cost limited it spread beyond the halls academia. Around 1986 the race was on to put a computer on every desktop. In the 1990s, laptop became a business necessity. Doctors went online to do research, email, etc except record and exchange clinical information. Now the technology is sophisticated enough to digitize and index the medical records of every single person in the company, still, only 40% of doctors have adopted EHR and only 20% are using it. President Obama realized to stimulate EHR adoption, the industry will be going to need a little push, which brings us to HITECH ACT. 

Getting back to HITECH ACT:

On 18th Feb 2009, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka Stimulus Package), was signed by President Obama into law. It contained new legislation also known as Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act). It uses financial incentives to encourage the physician to adopt certified EHRs.

Why?

Through increased use of EHR, the government plans to achieve the goal of a national health information network. This will result in :

  • Improved quality of care
  • Patient safety
  • Lower costs

Starting in 2011 with more than $17 billion distributed in the form of incentives, their aim is to encourage 90% of all doctors to become meaning users of EHR by 2019.

How does a physician qualify for this incentives??

  1. Purchase and use government certified EHR
  2. Demonstrate “meaningful uses” i.e. prove to the govt that EHR is properly implemented according to their criteria.

How much of that $34 billion is available for a physician? 

It depends on which incentives program is the physician eligible for. HITECH act provides two separate programs: Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare: A physician can earn up to 75% of his/her allowable charges up to a maximum $44000 over 5 years.

Medicaid: Up to $63,750 is available to a physician, to see more than 30% of Medicaid patients. (For pediatrician, that number is reduced to 20%)

Note: A physician will be penalised if there will be a delay or if the physician decides not to implement an EHR. He/She not only lose incentives but the govt will also be decreasing his/her reimbursement rate.

Ref: HITECH Act Enforcement Interim Final Rule

 

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23 thoughts on “HITECH ACT

  1. Very well written.
    For me it was a new topic, but after reading the article feeling comfortable and ready for discussions.
    Please share Indian equivalent of HITECH and it’s implementation in India.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found it to be a very interesting and informative article and I learnt so much about latest concepts like National Health Information Network and introduction of HI TECH Act in USA.
    Will be waiting for your next post to stay updated on Health Informatics, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post was very interesting and very informative. I will be looking forward to more information from your side. Keep up your good work Appi. ❤️

    Like

  4. This post of yours was very interesting to read. I hope you will continue keeping us updated with such topics. Really informative. Keep up the good work Appi. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very informative and well written. Obama care – a great idea. Hopefully, this would be implemented in India as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Sandeep.
    I’m glad that you found it informative. The next post will be out tomorrow, so make sure you have clicked on “Follow” button for this blog.
    (Although what I am going to mention next is completely off topic, but if you enjoy watching dance videos, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel: Fari Akmal – Girl On The Move https://www.youtube.com/FariAkmalGirlOnTheMove )

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  7. I am glad that you found it interesting. I have received a lot of questions enquiring about what’s happening in India equivalent to this. Hence, I will be writing a post on that soon. Make sure you have clicked on “Follow” button for this blog to keep yourself updated. 🙂

    (Although what I am going to mention next is completely off topic; if you enjoy watching dance videos in your free time, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel: “Fari Akmal – Girl On The Move” https://www.youtube.com/FariAkmalGirlOnTheMove )

    Like

  8. I am glad that you found it informative. I have received a lot of questions enquiring about what’s happening in India equivalent to this. Hence, I will be writing a post on that soon. Please do click on “Follow” button for this blog to keep yourself updated. 🙂

    Like

  9. I am happy that I was able to add something new to your knowledge. Please do make sure that you have clicked on “Follow” button for this blog, so that you get notified with posts on various other areas (fashion, travel, etc) as well. 🙂

    (Although what I am going to mention next is completely off topic; if you enjoy watching dance videos in your free time, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel: “Fari Akmal – Girl On The Move” https://www.youtube.com/FariAkmalGirlOnTheMove )

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  10. I am glad that you liked it interesting. Yes you are right, India is trying to get EHR implemented. Are you from an health IT industry?

    I have received a lot of questions enquiring about what’s happening in India equivalent to this. Hence, I will be writing a post on that soon. Considering that I live in New Zealand, I might not be able to answer in depth questions around India’s strategy around this. If you are from an health IT industry, I will be happy to connect with you. Please share your contact details by writing to me at fariblog.girlonthemove@gmail.com

    Make sure you have clicked on “Follow” button as I will be uploading a lot of stuff not just around Health IT, but also around fashion, travel, etc and if you enjoy watching dance videos in your free time, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel: “Fari Akmal – Girl On The Move” ( http://www.youtube.com/FariAkmalGirlOnTheMove )

    Like

  11. I am glad that you found it interesting. I will be putting new posts on this topic, please do click on “Follow” button to keep yourself updated. 🙂

    (Although what I am going to mention next is completely off topic; if you enjoy watching dance videos in your free time, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel: “Fari Akmal – Girl On The Move” https://www.youtube.com/FariAkmalGirlOnTheMove )

    Like

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