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Leahy Secures Funds to Support Adoption of Electronic Prescribing in Vermont
Date:10/16/2009

Blueprint for Health, a groundbreaking initiative of the Vermont Department of Health to build a statewide chronic care information system. Formed by a broad base of providers, payers, employers, patients, and state agencies, VITL is a multi-stakeholder nonprofit corporation largely supported by the state's Health Information Technology Fund.

Paul Harrington, Executive Vice President of the Vermont Medical Society, said of the HRSA grant, "These funds will assist physicians in the adoption of e-prescribing technology, as well as help to ensure that all pharmacies in Vermont are able to accept prescriptions electronically. This grant demonstrates Senator Leahy's continued commitment to promoting the use of health information technology to improve our state's health care system for both physicians and their patients."

Electronic prescribing is an important step toward achieving President Obama's goal of having all medical records computerized within five years, Sen. Leahy said. "With this grant, VITL will be able to help physicians across Vermont begin the transition from paper to electronic health records," Leahy said. ``We expect that once physicians see how easy it is to use electronic prescribing, they'll want to take additional steps toward a full electronic medical record."

Beginning in 2011, Vermont physicians can qualify for between $44,000 and $64,000 in payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for adopting and demonstrating "meaningful use" of an Electronic Health Record (EHR). Electronic prescribing is a key component of any EHR, and the easiest process for physicians to automate as a first step toward fully electronic patient records.

Incentives already exist for physicians to prescribe electronically, as they can qualify for a two percent bonus from Medicare for using the technology, said Dr. Cochran. If a physician is not e-prescribing by 2012, moreover, Medicare will begin reducing i
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SOURCE VITL
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