What is HITECH Act?
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act—most widely known as the HITECH Act—was incorporated as part of President Obama's 2009 Stimulus Plan. The HITECH Act was formulated to fuel industry-wide use of EHR technology by providing $19 billion to assist physicians in transitioning from paper-based methods to EHR systems. The goal of this section of the Stimulus Plan is to improve the overall quality of healthcare, as well as reduce unnecessary medical costs that are associated with the utilization of paper-based systems.
The HITECH Act provides stimulus incentives to physicians who qualify for Meaningful Use of EHR Technology. Beginning in 2011, payments will be disbursed to these physicians if they meet Meaningful Use requirements and utilize EHR technology to its fullest potential (as previously discussed in the Stimulus section). The HITECH Act was implemented to stress the positive impact health information technology will have on the healthcare industry and how the transition to electronic medical records will provide a more efficient approach to healthcare nationwide.
Medicare EHR Incentive Timeline
Medicaid HITECH Incentive Timeline
HITECH Act - Subsidy Plan