When GE launched its new healthymagination business strategy last month, one of the key components was the commitment to provide financing for advancing healthcare solutions. Today, GE announced the launch of a new program, Stimulus Simplicity, which is the first piece of that plan and offers healthcare providers an easier way to adopt electronic medical records, or EMRs. Its two core elements are a commitment to an EMR product certification warranty and an interest-free loan with deferred payments. The program addresses some of the biggest barriers to EMR adoption faced by healthcare providers — uncertainty around future standards and interim funding to cover the capital investment.
“Electronic medical records are designed to assist providers in improving patient outcomes, and reducing medical errors and costs,” said Vishal Wanchoo, president and CEO of GE Healthcare IT. “However, significant financial barriers are making healthcare providers hesitant to adopt the technology. Between the large upfront capital investment required in these challenging economic times and the uncertainty of the criteria to earn government incentive payments, small practices and facilities in rural areas and inner cities may decide the risks don’t outweigh the potential benefits. GE’s zero-interest interim funding and certification warranty provide doctors, community health clinics and hospitals a bridge to qualifying for stimulus funds and faster access to the improved care available through electronic medical record use.”
The new program focuses on GE’s Centricity EMR –- our advanced electronic medical records system — and Centricity Enterprise Solutions — our integrated clinical, financial and administrative system that documents all aspects of patient care. GE’s financial services business, GE Capital, will provide the financing with GE Healthcare providing its EMR product certification warranty. GE Capital expects to make about $100 million available for the program, which is part of GE’s long-term commitment to help health providers get access to innovation that improves health and reduces the cost of care. Under the government’s stimulus provisions, federal funds won’t become available for EMRs until 2011 and the government has yet to set specific guidelines for determining what constitutes a “qualified” system.
The Hazard Clinic, in the Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky, is among the first to qualify for the interest-free opportunity and will use the loan to purchase the Centricity EMR solution. “This gives a small, rural clinic like ours a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring our patients the type of technology they’d typically have to travel for,” said Stephanie Wooton, Hazard Clinic Administrator. “The case for EMR is clear and convincing. Yet, as a community-based organization, we likely wouldn’t have been able to transform our recordkeeping without this offer. Now, not only do we expect the Centricity EMR to save us money by increasing efficiencies, it will empower our staff to deliver the topnotch care our patients deserve. Frankly, that’s the most exciting part.”
By accelerating EMR and Health Information Exchange adoption, GE expects to help remove $28 billion in cost from the health system while improving access to better and more affordable care.
Dan Henson, president and CEO at GE Capital, Americas, said, “EMRs have a bright future, and GE brings unique technology and financing capabilities that will accelerate its development. Our partnership with GE Healthcare in this program demonstrates the power of GE’s portfolio in addressing important social needs. We can offer this attractive financing package because of the quality of GE’s EMR offering, the reduced credit risk due to anticipated customer reimbursement from the HITECH Act [contained in the U.S. stimulus act], and the opportunity this program creates for new customer relationships for our healthcare financial services business.”
The video above shows how GE, Intermountain Healthcare and the Mayo Clinic have developed physician decision support through IT in the form of evidence-based care.
* Read today’s announcement
* Learn more about the Centricity Stimulus Bridge
* Visit healthymagination.com
* Read GE Reports’ coverage of the launch
* Learn more about healthymagination’s advisory board
* Try out GE’s health visualizer