Posts Tagged ‘Stimulus’

Hospital Gambling on EHR

August 4, 2009

I caught this story on the news and was surprised at first, but then on second thought I realized it’s not that surprising given the state of our rural hospitals in many areas.  I’m sure many hospitals might have to make tough decisions just like Sac-Osage Hospital in Missouri. 

A few details about Sac-Osage Hospital:

  • 47 bed hospital
  • Spending $1 million to move to an Electronic Health Record (EHR)
  • Operating on a $370,000 deficit
  • Hoping the Obama Stimulus Package will help make this change profitable in 2011
  • E.R. and ambulance services facing closure of services depending on whether or not local voters approve property tax

Sac-Osage has an average census of 5 inpatients per day, so obviously they will have difficulty raising revenuSac-Osage Hospitale to cover this large of an expense.  However, they are looking into the future, hoping that they will meet the criteria of “meaningful use” of the EHR as stated in the Obama stimulus package, and then receive some unknown amount of the stimulus money that will help offset the costs.

Some might say it is risky, but if they don’t do it now, they will not have enough time to prepare for the stimulus package and starting 2015, healthcare providers who haven’t made the switch may face financial penalties.  Whether Sac-Osage Hospital decided to take action or continue as is, the future of their facility is unforeseeable at this time.    

If you are interested in the full story, click here:;jsessionid=93CF354D45905A0D57914503C657E091?full=true&contentguid=LUV8siO4&detailindex=#display

What do you think about this?

If you were a small rural hospital in the same situation, would you bite the bullet and take the chance on an EHR in hopes it will be worth it in the end, or would you continue operating the same way and plan to make the change to an EHR later on down the road when/if you can afford it?

Please, feel free to share your thoughts!


Privacy wins in Obama’s $19 Bil EMR Plan

February 13, 2009

Bloomberg News  reports that patients’ rights proponents won in obama-stock-phototheir victory to defeat the Senate version of the stimulus package which allowed for looser privacy standards. 

The report also provided the following details:

  • $2 Billion in grants to creat a national system of computerized health records
  • $17 Billion in higher CMS payments for doctors and hospitals to adapt the technology.
  • Doctors would be eligible for $40,000 to $65,000 in grants if they began using EMR technology.
  • Penalties for those who fail to adapt the systems would begin in 2014.
  • The bill also tightens restrictions on the sale of medical data.

To read the entire report, click here:

The plan includes both incentives and penalties.  Do you think government intervention will help or hurt HIM departments or hospitals in the long run?

How will this affect you?

Feel free to comment below:

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