2011 is drawing to a close, and many physicians and medical practices are considering their plans for 2012. Whether or not they will adopt electronic health records (EHR) rank among the chief concerns for 2012. Converting to EHR is a big decision; physicians must consider many factors and issues.

However, “questions on whether incentive money is being paid out on Meaningful Use SHOULD NOT be one of them,” according to Todd Greenberg of GSG Capital. GSG Capital is the health care industry’s foremost source of financing for EHR and related software. Their ability to offer low interest rates and rapid closing makes them a favorite of medical practices and EHR vendors. As a result, they have helped many physicians participate in HITECH Stimulus program.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that over 150,000 physicians and hospitals have registered for the program, as of the end of November. In addition, CMS paid out approximately $1.8 billion to participating physicians and hospitals. Payments to Medicare participants total $920 million. Those who qualified for Medicaid have received $916 million to date.

The HITECH Stimulus program reimburses eligible providers up to $44,000 under Medicare and $64,000 under Medicaid for implementing certified EHR systems. Medicare providers must meet the meaningful use requirements for 90 days to receive their money. Medicaid is easier, and only requires participants to adopt, implement, or upgrade to a certified system during stage one.

Although the EHR market was by and large slow during 2011, CMS paid out nearly one billion of the $1.8 billion during October and November. Analysts predict that the EHR market will move more rapidly in 2012, with many practices trying to complete stage one by the end of the first quarter. Additionally, many practices are moving towards last-minute deals so they can take advantage of Tax Code 179 for 2011.

Tax Code 179 lets businesses deduct the entire cost of capital goods, up to $500,000, during the year in which the goods were purchased. This effectively reduces the purchase price of EHR systems, and helps practices keep more money in the bank. GSG Capital includes a Tax Code 179 analysis with each financing proposal.

Many of our clients have already received stimulus, or are just finishing up their attestation periods now. Now is a great time to get started on your EHR implementation so you can receive stimulus money early in 2012. If you have questions about financing your EHR purchase, feel free to contact Todd Greenberg at 877-270-8306 ex 953. You can contact us via the XLEMR website at www.xlemr.com, or send us an email at info@xlemr.com.

Ryan Ricks
Security Officer