First EMR Stimulus Checks


As expected the first EMR stimulus checks have been issued and we’re starting to learn who the first providers are to receive the checks. There’s even the obligatory big check picture accompanying the coverage of the first EMR stimulus checks.

According to a Government Health IT article, University of Kentucky Healthcare received a $2.86 million payment. That’s a nice chunk of change and represents a third of the hospital’s overall expected payment from CMS. I think most hospitals would enjoy a check like that. Of course, what we don’t know is how much University of Kentucky Healthcare spent to purchase and implement their EMR. I’m sure we’ll see those numbers come out as more people get their EMR stimulus checks.

The first EMR stimulus checks on the ambulatory EMR side seem to have gone to two physicians at the Gastorf Family Clinic in Durant, OK (pictured above). They each got $21,250 for showing “meaningful use” of a “certified EHR.” Of course, e-MDs was quick to issue the press release about this clinic being e-MDs users. Not a bad move for them to try and be the first. Sounds like the Oklahoma REC (OFMQ) also deserves some credit for helping them get the first EMR stimulus checks.

Related to this, we’re also starting to see the first numbers come in as far as those registered with CMS for EHR incentives. In the Government Health IT article linked above they report in the first four days since the launch of registration, about 4,000 healthcare providers registered (as of January 6). Not a bad start and I’m sure that will continue to grow day by day since many won’t care to register until after they’re close to showing the 90 days of meaningful use.

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.

8 Comments

  • John…remember…these two ambulatory docs in Durant, KS did NOT have to show meaningful use. No EP’s are eligible to even apply for that until April. These two received their checks under the Medicaid provisions of the bill….all they had to do is SHOW that they had a certified product (and they had at least 30% Medicaid patients, I believe)…no USE, meaningful or otherwise, was required. Don’t see how a vendor makes much use of that PR wise…no MU or any attestation of any kind required…other than they BOUGHT (or already had) a certified product.

    A “great start” for healthcare reform? That remains to be seen…but for the two docs in Kansas at least…its an Andy Warhol moment…and money in the bank!

  • Good point Jack. I should update the post with your message. I’m sure they’ll get some PR out of it though because many people don’t realize the details of it.

    Also, it’s worth pointing out that even when the Medicare checks start flowing after people have shown 90 days of meaningful use, it won’t mean all that much either. Since it’s based on self attestation for meaningful use stage 1.

  • Jack-
    First of all we are in Oklahoma, not in Kansas. And while it appears all that is required is merely the purchase of a certified product, we did have to verify meaningful use. We have been utilizing our program for 5 and a half years, so it is not just that we bought the program and were done with it. We decided in September to attempt to qualify, never actually believing that there would be a check arriving in our bank account. We have met most of the criteria for meaningful use for over 6 months, so the 90 days was not really an issue. Other than waiting for the software to fully become credentialed.
    If it were as simple as merely showing a certified product and the amount of medicaid patients seen, almost every clinic in town would qualify for the Medicaid payment. AS for the “free publicity” other than outside the area, it has been more of a burden than help increase patient volume in the clinic.
    I would however agree that the vendor is getting the benefit of the publicity more than our individual clinic, with minimal effort on their part. Most of our help with implementation is the result of our office manager, our IT consultants and even OFMQ. e-MDs really only helped when it was apparent we would be the first recipient.

  • Melissa,
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. That’s extremely helpful.

    Seems like Jack made some assumptions since state Medicaid programs have discretion if they require meaningful use or not. That’s interesting that Oklahoma (not Kansas) required meaningful use. How did they measure or have you report on your meaningful use of the certified EHR?

    I agree that it’s e-MDs Andy Warhol moment and not the clinics. Although, I guess there’s some fame in being the first. Just no one ever said that fame was a good thing. Of course, the check in the bank should help a little.

  • Hey Ned,
    I assume you’re talking about me. My full name is John Lynn. If you’re talking about a different John, let me know. There are a lot of us in healthcare IT.

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