“We are thrilled to play a role in advancing this important healthcare initiative,” said Quest CEO Dr. Gail Amundson. “We look forward to working with regional practices to help them with their EHR needs.”
Physicians will be able to utilize the REC’s services at minimal cost. The grant money will cover 90 percent of the expense. Another form of incentive will kick in starting in 2011 when the government will increase Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates for physicians who have the systems in place and who meet federal standards for “meaningful use.” Eventually, the government will penalize physicians who do not use the systems by decreasing Medicaid and Medicare payments to them.
The REC will work primarily with priority care providers - family practitioners, doctors of internal medicine, pediatricians and obstetricians who serve Medicare /Medicaid patients and other underserved populations. Those physicians provide about 80 percent of the nation’s healthcare, but only about 20 percent of them currently utilize electronic health records systems.
The counties covered in the central Illinois REC region include: Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Iroquois, Knox, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Morgan, Moultrie, Peoria, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, and Woodford.
“As the central Illinois REC satellite office, Quality Quest has the expertise to provide on-site technical assistance, implementation-related project management and practice and workflow redesign services to practices,” said Dr. Amundson, who noted that the REC initiative fits well with another project currently underway at Quest.
In June of 2009, the Health Information Exchange (HIE) pro
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