AMA to help doctors cash in on EHR stimulus dollars

Doctors that demonstrate the “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHR) in their practices are eligible for at least $44,000 over five years, an incentive the American Medical Association (AMA) is facilitating with a new partnership.

AMA's partnership with UnitedHealth-owned Ingenix will offer physicians a way to “assess and meet their clinical and practice needs,” as well as “access information, products and services with a single, secure sign-on,” according to an AMA release.

The platform is currently in beta testing through a collaboration with the Michigan State Medical Society, and will launch nationwide later this year, according to the release.

The Ingenix CareTracker platform will also help physicians demonstrate meaningful use of an EHR system, the key qualification for payment under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, said Bill Miller, EVP, healthcare delivery systems at Ingenix in the release.

A survey conducted by online physician community Sermo and AthenaHealth, an EHR provider, found that 80% of responding Sermo docs view EHRs favorably, believing that they improve patient care.

However, 90% of the docs surveyed said they agree or strongly agree that EHRs are expensive to purchase, and 60% agree or strongly agree that EHRs “distract from face to face interaction with patients,” according to survey results.

“Discussion amongst the Sermo physician community supports the survey's findings of ‘holes' in current offerings and more broadly the notion that EHRs have a long way to go towards delivering on the promise of cost savings, freed resources, and better medicine,” said Daniel Palestrant, Sermo CEO, in a statement.
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