CARROLLTON, Ga., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Greenway Medical Technologies continued to lead the United States Government's efforts to automate the national healthcare system with its participation in the fourth annual National Health IT Week held September 21 - 25 in Washington D.C. Greenway®, along with more than 55 other healthcare information technology (HIT) leaders, met to collaborate with leaders on Capitol Hill to elevate national attention surrounding the advancement of health IT.
During the event, Justin Barnes, vice president of marketing and government affairs at Greenway Medical and chairman of the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association (EHR Association), provided formal statements supporting HIT initiatives stressing the need for continued collaboration between HIT providers, physicians and other healthcare professionals as well as the federal government to further increase adoption of certified electronic health records (EHRs) for the betterment of the U.S. healthcare system.
Three key legislative and regulatory priorities were discussed at this year's conference by Barnes and the EHR Association, beginning with a call to action for Congress to utilize its oversight authority to ensure that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issues a final regulation for the electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) of controlled substances. Currently, the limitations that prohibit care providers from fully prescribing have hindered its overall adoption. Barnes stressed that until the regulations are updated, the full benefits of e-prescribing cannot be reached.
Congress was also urged to enact legislation that provides incentives for a broader mix of public and private payers to support accelerated EHR adoption and meaningful use, which will attract and support healthcare providers in every quality of care setting. These additional incentives would be built upon those already being offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Current Medicare and Medicaid incentives range from $44,000 to $63,750 per physician.
Another key priority discussed was urging Congress to study the full cost of deploying EHRs and the subsequent HIT infrastructure and staffing costs associated with the national implementation of HIT networks. With these additional costs, Congress needs to consider a more encompassing incentive package to fully cover HIT adoption costs that embrace providers based on their specialties and/or their patient mix currently falling outside major incentives. The study would also acknowledge that interoperability and standards may need further support to enable the widespread adoption of secure HIT exchange, which is a key driver of the healthcare savings that can be achieved through implementation of EHRs.
"The HIT industry as a whole continues to expand its growth and hone its focus as it promotes the importance of interoperable EHRs, which serve as the essential framework and infrastructure for any type of healthcare reform that may occur in America," said Justin Barnes. "National Health IT Week and all those involved with it are the reason we continue to advance standards development, interoperability, meaningful use and quality and outcomes reporting, which are all refined through the widespread implementation of certified EHRs. While we continue to take great strides, there is much work to be done."
Greenway's leadership in elevating national attention surrounding the advancement of health IT extends to its customers as well. "We have walked in lock step with Greenway as they work to help Congress and the President's administration understand the benefits of widespread adoption of interoperable EHRs," said Mary Doherty, practice manager of Drs. Parker, Kline, Dunn and Horowitz, a Washington, D.C.-based internal medicine practice and user of Greenway's PrimeSuite solution. "We have hosted several visits from Congressional staff members so that they can see firsthand how EHRs improve the workflows of our practice. While they are visiting, we make every effort to advocate the government's support and adoption of interoperability standards that will greatly benefit and transform the U.S. Healthcare system."
"It is critical that as we talk about reforming our health care system, health IT adoption is an important part of the discussion. The adoption of health IT saves money and saves lives, and the government needs to continue to encourage and support investment in this area. I was proud to be a part of Health IT Week here in Washington, DC, and I remain a strong supporter in Congress. My legislation, H.R. 1087, the ADOPT HIT Act of 2009, would encourage health IT adoption by providing optional financial incentives to small health care providers and entities, an essential component of ensuring widespread adoption," said Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA).
About Greenway Medical Technologies Inc.
Greenway Medical Technologies provides the latest in EHR, ambulatory healthcare and clinical research business solutions and services to more than 28,000 healthcare providers and professionals nationwide, in 30 specialties and subspecialties, by enhancing the delivery of patient care through innovative HIT software and on-demand services that allow physician practices to function at their highest level of efficiency. Greenway's PrimeSuite is a comprehensive, interoperable component of the integrated physician's infrastructure solution, which serves as the starting point of a long-term business plan for physician practices. PrimeSuite 2008 is certified by CCHIT® based on 2008 Ambulatory EHR certification requirements. PrimeSuite integrates a practice's clinical, financial and administrative processes, and allows practices to increase profitability, enhance patient satisfaction and facilitate adherence to compliance guidelines. Established in 1998, Carrollton, Ga.-based Greenway Medical Technologies is a privately held company with more than 300 employees. For more information about Greenway, visit www.greenwaymedical.com.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in the press release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including but not limited to economic, competitive, governmental, and technological factors affecting the Company's operations, markets, services and related products, prices, and other factors.
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