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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TMA PREPARES FOR HIT OUTREACH PROJECT

In anticipation of upcoming federal grants, TMA’s physician leader on health information technology (HIT) and staff met with leaders of four organizations planning HIT Regional Extension Centers (HITRECs) for Texas. If the grants are approved, TMA would provide outreach and physician education for the HITRECs. Funded through the economic stimulus bill that passed this spring, the HITRECs would help Texas physicians “select, successfully implement, and meaningfully use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to improve the quality and value of health care.” The governing board of each extension center would include at least 50 percent physicians. Joseph Schneider, MD, chair of TMA’s Committee on HIT, shared the results of a new TMA survey:
  • Nearly 60 percent of physicians surveyed said they will attempt to qualify for federal incentive payments for meaningful use of EHRs.
  • Forty-two percent said they already have implemented an EHR and another 41 percent said they want or plan to do so.
  • Cost is the No. 1 barrier for those who do not plan to implement an EHR.

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