PeaceHealth gets stimulus boost

PeaceHealth expects to receive about $30 million in stimulus funds for its early integration of health IT.

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As part of the stimulus bill that promotes the adoption of electronic records and other forms of health-related IT, PeaceHealth is looking at a $30-million stimulus boost over the next five years.

The money comes from a section of the $767 billion economic stimulus bill that Congress passed last winter. Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act — the Hi-Tech Act for short — the government will spend $36 billion to promote the adoption and effective use of health information technology, most notably electronic health records, said Dr. John Haughom, PeaceHealth’s senior vice president for clinical quality and patient safety.

About $30 billion is earmarked for hospitals and physician groups, starting in 2011 and continuing through 2015, he said. Most of the money will be doled out in 2011 and 2012. After 2015, the government will penalize health systems that have not adopted electronic health records by reducing their Medicare payments.

Read the full story at The Register-Guard.