Friday, April 17, 2009

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  2. PWC STUDY - "Rock and a hard place: An analysis of the $36 billion impact from health IT stimulus funding"

    By injecting $36 billion in health IT through the stimulus fund, the federal government hopes to create a digital healthcare infrastructure that reduces costs and improves quality. Hospitals and physicians that want the stimulus money will find they have little choice but to comply with the new requirements or suffer future shortfalls in Medicare reimbursement. The report includes five key highlights, a well explained model for hospitals to calculate potential funding they would receive through the incentives included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 as well as frequently asked questions with responses.

    Report highlights include:

    The stimulus funding for health IT is a small carrot compared to the amount of resources it will take to deploy this technology over the next 5 years. Also, providers will feel a big stick of financial penalties if they fail to use government-certified electronic health record (EHR) in a government-certified manner beginning in 2015.
    Health IT is moving from a voluntary initiative over the past decade to a highly regulated one with new rule-making government committees, stricter privacy laws and more onerous fines.
    The stimulus funding for health IT won't begin flowing to hospitals and physicians until late 2010, but providers should immediately begin to determine whether their current systems will be in compliance and how they can capitalize on incentives. Payments will be higher for hospitals with higher Medicare inpatient and charity care volumes.
    With billions in new funding and government regulations, the health IT market will balloon far beyond the provider segment, providing new opportunities for health plans, pharma companies and other vendors.
    The Office of the National Coordinator will have broad new powers and $2 billion in funding. Nearly all of the funds will flow to those that are already using systems in a strategic and government-certified way.