Q&A: ARRA EMR Stimulus Money for Non Medicare Providers

EMR and HIPAA Reader Submitted Question:
Is there a way for a provider to get stimulus money for EMR if not currently a Medicare provider?

Besides Medicare, there is also stimulus money available through Medicaid. In fact, Medicaid has more money per provider available than Medicare, but also has different requirements to obtain the EMR stimulus money. Outside of that, ONC has a number of grants that might be available for organizations that qualify and want to go through the grant writing process. Otherwise, NO there is no stimulus money if you don’t take Medicare, Medicaid or qualify for some special grants.

Check out all of EMR and HIPAA’s EMR Stimulus Questions and Answers.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Don’t forget about Section 179 accellerated depreciation write-offs for capital equipment investment. This program officially ended in 2009, but the government has the ability to extend this program so that physicians that don’t meet the minimum Medicare or Medicaid requirements can still qualify for this tax deduction. This would go a long way to getting everyone on the EMR bandwagon!

  • Don’t think the program can be reinstituted without new legislation.

    In any case the program can’t be so restrictive as to apply to HEIT investments… let alone to apply to only those who “don’t meet the minimum Medicare or Medicaid requirements”.

    What about those practices which do not have either Medicare or Medicaid patients? Shouldn’t those practitioners benefit from implementing an EHR?

    In my opinion few group practices will meet meaningful use criteria and when they finally do all the money will have been paid out to hospitals… so if you are implementing an EHR you best do it for reasons other than maybe getting a stimulus check.

    Instead of worrying about ‘stimulus’ checks (which only stimulate the EHR/EMR vendors) … more should be spent as it is here in the EMR and HIPPA Blog focusing on how to choose, how to implement, and how to employ an EMR/EHR for the betterment of a practice and its patients.

    (Any entity that starts off a list of EHR/EMR benefits with “financial” has the wrong priority as its principle outcome.)

  • “more should be spent as it is here in the EMR and HIPPA Blog focusing on how to choose, how to implement, and how to employ an EMR/EHR for the betterment of a practice and its patients.”

    I like this idea. I guess I should finish up my e-Books so that people have a place to spend that money…lol

  • @ DBerry -I have been thinking about this alot latley. There is so much talk about “stimulus”. But what about the providers that won’t qualify at all? I don’t think they are going to be eager to spend the money. What will need to be done to cater to that group…..

  • If everyone isn’t selling a EHR package that makes value sense to every practice regardless of whether it’s discounted by the government or not… then what does it say about the value of the package to begin with?

    What we have right now is everyone trying to figure out if they qualify for the discount through some hyperbolic, academic perspective of what constitutes “meaningful use” when the governement has no way to “meaningfully use” the output results itself.

    To Maria’s comment: “I don’t think they are going to be eager to spend the money. What will need to be done to cater to that group…”.

    If those that aren’t eligible aren’t going to spend the money… (which is a good bet unless they see the value of an EHR without the incentive)… then the EHR/EMR industry has a whole market segment that they need to figure out how to penetrate.

    Again as I said at the top of this post. What does it say about the value of the box to the client if the only way he’ll buy it is if the government gives him a rebate?

  • @John… I know we will beat this point dead over the coming months/years of HEIT implementation but it is absolutely essential for health care organizations to make EMR/EHR decisions based on and measured against expected benefits without consideration of whether they will receive a meaningful use incentive rebate.

    Thanks to Maria for teeing it up for us.

  • @ John Thanks. That list is very useful. And I look forward to your e-books
    @DBerry No Prob. Thanks for the input.

  • Hello does anyone know if Medicare Advantage programs or Medicare secondary qualify for the stimulus money? I suspect not, I can’t find documentation stating they do.


  • Jo-Anne,
    I’ve seen that question a few places and haven’t seen a real hard answer either. However, like you, I suspect that it’s not.

  • Does anyone know whether or not the government is implementing some kind of incentive benefit for non-Medicare/Medicaid users?

    Or are these practices totally out of luck?

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