Stanford Hospital and Clinics (B): New Incentives for an Electronic Medical Records System
In February 2009, approximately $17 billion was allocated by the U.S. government for incentives to encourage hospitals and physicians to adopt electronic medical records (EMR) systems. These funds would be administered under the HITECH Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The new program outlined two types of incentives for those healthcare providers demonstrating meaningful use of a CCHIT-certified EMR between 2011 and 2015. In-patient hospitals and hospital-based physicians could qualify for what were called hospital payments. Physicians working in clinics (also called ambulatory physician practices) could be eligible for what were known as individual physician incentives. When these incentives were announced, Stanford Hospital and Clinics (SHC) had completed its Epic activation in the hospital (silver), and implementation activities were underway in the clinics (gold) and back office (platinum). The entire roll-out would be complete before first adoption deadline in 2011. The SHC team hoped to use this early-mover position to maximize the incentives it received in both of the possible categories. The organization believed it would definitely qualify for hospital incentives, but there was some uncertainty whether its physicians in the clinics could also be eligible for the individual physician payments. This case should be used in conjunction with the companion case OIT101A and the associated spreadsheet models entitled OIT-101A SHC EMR Model and OIT-101B SHC EMR Model.