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GE Launches Program to Doctors, Hospitals to Accelerate EMR Adoption; First $100 Million of healthymagination Commitment
Date:6/15/2009

Offers Healthcare Providers Interest-free Funding for Immediate Access to Electronic Medical Records, Commits to Stimulus Warranty

Electronic Medical Records Can Help Improve Patient Outcomes, Reduce Medical Errors and Costs

FAIRFIELD, Conn., June 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GE (NYSE: GE) today announced, as part of its healthymagination initiative to increase access to technology and reduce cost, the launch of a new program, Stimulus Simplicity, which offers doctors and hospitals an easier path to electronic medical records (EMR) adoption. This program is a joint offering of GE Healthcare and GE Capital and contains two core elements - a commitment to ensure the EMRs are certified (a precursor to federal stimulus reimbursement eligibility) and an interest-free loan with deferred payments. The program addresses some of the biggest barriers to EMR adoption faced by healthcare providers, uncertainty around future standards and interim funding to cover the capital investment.

GE's Stimulus Simplicity program helps physician offices and hospitals that invest in GE's electronic medical records (EMR) products, GE Centricity(R) EMR and Centricity Enterprise solutions, maximize the potential benefits of the increased focus on EMR under President Obama's stimulus funding bill. The financing enables healthcare providers to accelerate adoption of EMRs and further their efforts to reduce cost and improve patient care through greater access to valuable information at the point of care. GE's financial services business, GE Capital, will provide the financing with GE Healthcare providing its EMR product certification warranty.

The Hazard Clinic, in the Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky, is among the first to qualify for the interest-free opportunity and will use the loan to purchase the Centricity EMR solution.

"This gives a small, rural clinic like ours a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring our patients the type of technology they'd typically have to travel for," said Stephanie Wooton, Hazard Clinic Administrator. "The case for EMR is clear and convincing. Yet, as a community-based organization, we likely wouldn't have been able to transform our recordkeeping without this offer. Now, not only do we expect the Centricity EMR to save us money by increasing efficiencies, it will empower our staff to deliver the topnotch care our patients deserve. Frankly, that's the most exciting part."

Under the HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), federal stimulus funds won't become available for EMRs until 2011 and the federal government has yet to set specific guidelines for determining what constitutes a "qualified" system. To overcome these barriers to immediate adoption of EMRs, GE is making an unparalleled commitment to support our customers' ability to meet "meaningful use" standards. GE is now offering its HITECH Warranty for Centricity EMR and Centricity Enterprise solutions and zero-interest funding with deferred payments to qualified buyers so they can have immediate access to this technology without the up-front capital costs.

"Electronic medical records are designed to assist providers in improving patient outcomes, and reducing medical errors and costs," said Vishal Wanchoo, president and CEO of GE Healthcare IT. "However, significant financial barriers are making healthcare providers hesitant to adopt the technology. Between the large upfront capital investment required in these challenging economic times and the uncertainty of the criteria to earn government incentive payments, small practices and facilities in rural areas and inner cities may decide the risks don't outweigh the potential benefits. GE's zero-interest interim funding and certification warranty provide doctors, community health clinics and hospitals a bridge to qualifying for stimulus funds and faster access to the improved care available through electronic medical record use."

GE Capital expects to make about $100 million available for the program, which is part of GE's long-term commitment to help health providers get access to innovation that improves health and reduces the cost of care.

Dan Henson, president and CEO at GE Capital, Americas, said, "EMRs have a bright future, and GE brings unique technology and financing capabilities that will accelerate its development. Our partnership with GE Healthcare in this program demonstrates the power of GE's portfolio in addressing important social needs. We can offer this attractive financing package because of the quality of GE's EMR offering, the reduced credit risk due to anticipated customer reimbursement from the HITECH Act, and the opportunity this program creates for new customer relationships for our healthcare financial services business."

Between 2003 and 2004, 22 percent of sick adults in America had duplicate tests ordered by different health care professionals.(1) Centricity EMR not only helps deliver quality care, but also provides surveillance of patient data to identify whether an appointment should be scheduled, a test performed or patient-specific health targets need to be reassessed. This focuses attention on the right, relevant care, and in addition to significantly less redundancy, GE solutions can take tens of thousands of dollars, per physician, out of the overall cost of care delivery(2).

The financing is part of GE's healthymagination initiative, a $6 billion commitment to improve access, affordability and quality of healthcare. Under healthymagination (http://www.healthymagination.com/), GE supports the expanded use of healthcare IT to speed communications, while limiting variation and controlling costs. By accelerating EMR and Health Information Exchange (HIE) adoption, GE expects to help remove $28 billion in cost from the health system while improving access to better and more affordable care.

GE's Centricity(R) EMR systems are used by more than 33,000 physicians and 900 hospitals and clinics, enabling ambulatory care physicians and clinical staff to document patient encounters, streamline clinical workflow and securely exchange clinical data with other providers, patients, and information systems.

GE's Centricity Enterprise is an integrated clinical, financial and administrative system that helps hospitals caregivers provide enhanced patient care through computerized physician order entry (CPOE), clinical decision support and expert rules, while documenting many aspects of patient care. The system integrates core clinical processes for orders, results, pharmacy and care documentation, in concert with administrative/financial processes for scheduling, registration/admitting, charging and billing. With Centricity Enterprise, hospitals of all sizes are able to quickly and easily drive best practice improvements in their organizations to improve communications between patient care teams.

For more information on the Stimulus Simplicity program, please visit http://www.gehealthcare.com/usen/hit/hitech_act.html.

ABOUT GE HEALTHCARE

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our "healthymagination" vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com

ABOUT GE CAPITAL

With over $600 billion in assets, GE Capital offers consumers and businesses around the globe an array of financial products and services. GE Capital is a leader in a number of industries, from airlines, healthcare and energy financing to fleet, franchise and middle market corporate finance. With strong origination capabilities and risk management, GE Capital has deep industry expertise and experience in providing financing solutions for our customers.

(1) StrategyOne, "Kaiser Permanente Electronic Medical Records Survey," February 2007.

(2) Michigan State Hospital

    Media Contacts:
    GE
    Deirdre Latour
    203-231-8531
    deirdre.latour@ge.com

    GE Healthcare
    Corey Miller
    414.469.5499
    corey.miller@ge.com

    GE Capital
    Russell Wilkerson
    203.581.2114
    russell.wilkerson@ge.com


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SOURCE GE Healthcare
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