NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Williston Park, NY, United States, 2011/11/02 - Nortec Software announces partnership with north shore medical labs, in collaboration with HHS and AHIMA to provide EHR systems and health it training to providers in Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina - AHIMA.org / NortecEHR.com.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Minority Health, North Shore Medical Labs, Inc. and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recently announced a demonstration project to foster broader adoption and use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) and support national efforts to reduce health disparities affecting minorities in underserved areas.
Nortec Software’s EHR system, Nortec EHR, was selected to be donated by North Shore Medical Labs to providers in medically underserved communities and small practices in the states of Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina.
"The Office of Minority Health is pleased to support another innovative and timely health IT project in the growing portfolio of important work on health disparities,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health Garth N. Graham, MD. "We hope this initiative will stimulate more efforts to extend the use of EHRs in smaller practices and underserved communities that face special challenges in acquiring and implementing this technology."
Data from the 2005-2006 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medicare Care Survey show that EHR adoption is lower among providers serving uninsured, non-Hispanic black patients than among providers serving privately insured, non-Hispanic white patients, and among providers serving Hispanic patients who are uninsured or rely on Medicaid.
“Nortec is proud to be selected as the EHR vendor in this pioneering initiative,” said Ajmal Sheikh, CEO of Nortec Software, Inc. “One of our core goals at Nortec is to create a company that uses technology to make a positive impact on communities. We value these types of partnerships and see them as a means to provide critical, quality access and bring about a tangible impact on safety and patient care in these underserved communities. I want to congratulate these organizations dedicated to making real change and to HHS for helping to make it happen.”
North Shore Medical Labs, Inc. (nortecehr.com) will donate approximately 75 percent of the cost of the Nortec EHR licenses, program integration, monthly subscription fees, as well as discounted education and training. Since 2006, an exception to the Federal Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute has permitted the donation of certain EHR arrangements but requires recipients to pay a small proportion of donor costs.
AHIMA (ahima.org) will provide six hours of web-based training on health IT to providers who work in underserved communities. Approximately 100 providers who complete the training will receive Nortec EHR licenses, including subscription fees, for 12 months. Nortec will help integrate the necessary information technology components within participating physician practices.
“AHIMA values participating in public private partnerships, particularly when, as in this case, we join public and private enterprise to apply the fundamentals of health information management in a targeted and specific way to tackle a significant public health disparity,” said Bonnie Cassidy, MPA, RHIA, president of AHIMA. “This is meaningful work that will provide a tangible public good of improving access in these communities to quality healthcare data and contributing to better patient outcomes.”
Provider recruitment efforts will be conducted by the Mississippi Institute for Improvement of Geographic Minority Health, which focuses on key indicators of health status in Mississippi and targets mechanisms to increase the knowledge surrounding these conditions along with strategies to improve them, and the North Carolina Health Information Management Association, which works to advance professional practice and standards for effective management and security of health information across the continuum of care.
A health care provider who wishes to participate in this initiative must:
- Practice in a Medically Underserved Area (MUA) or Health Provider Shortage Area (HPSA) designated by HHS;
- Have an Internet connection and use an electronic billing system;
- Be a small practice group of one to five providers or a Federally Qualified Health Center within the MUA and/or PSA.
- Be eligible to receive "meaningful use" incentives, as defined by the HITECH Act; and
- Complete an initial application and submit monthly reports.
Nortec, North Shore and AHIMA responded to an October 2010 invitation from the department to the vendor community to work with HHS to help reduce health information technology disparities.
For more information regarding this initiative and how providers can participate, please contact Dr. Abid Sheikh at asheikh[.]nsmlonline.com or Dr. Bill Rudman at Bill.Rudman[.]ahima.org
Involvement by the OMH does not represent an endorsement of the general policies, activities, or products of Nortec, AHIMA and North Shore.