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HHS Deputy Secretary Invites Toledo Community to Apply for an Innovative Electronic Health Record Demonstration Project
Date:3/18/2008

TOLEDO, Ohio, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a meeting today, HHS Deputy Secretary Tevi Troy encouraged community leaders to join together and apply for a new Medicare demonstration project that provides incentive payments for physicians' use of certified electronic health records to improve patient care. The project, which will be open to small- and medium-sized primary care physician practices, is expected to reduce medical errors and improve the quality of care for an estimated 3.6 million Americans.

"Communities like Toledo have a tremendous opportunity to help transform health care delivery starting at the local level," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "Broad adoption of interoperable electronic health records has the potential not only to improve the quality of care provided, but also to change the way medicine is practiced and delivered. By implementing this demonstration project in a dozen health markets across the country, we'll help move this nation toward a system that delivers better quality health care at lower cost for more Americans."

Over a five-year period, financial incentives will be provided to as many as 1,200 primary care physician practices that use certified electronic health records (EHR) to improve quality as measured by their performance on specific clinical quality measures. In addition to the incentive payments, bonus payments may be awarded based on a standardized survey measuring the number of EHR functionalities a physician practice has incorporated. Total payments under the demonstration may be up to $58,000 per physician or $290,000 per practice.

"The development of a EHR is one of the most powerful tools we have as physicians to improve the delivery and safety of health care," said Ronald A. McGinnis, MD, Medical Director, University of Toledo Medical Center. "The implementation of an EHR project which engages all the members of our community has the potential to make Northwest Ohio a natio
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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