Netsmart, a provider of clinical solutions for health and human services organizations nationwide, has announced that its clients have so far received or are on target to receive nearly $2 million in Medicaid incentive funds for the Meaningful Use of an Electronic Health Record (EHR).
This represents the largest amount of Meaningful Use funding commitments announced to date for behavioral health provider organizations. Netsmart clients already receiving incentive payments include:
- Regional Mental Health Center in Merrillville, Ind., has received $273,000 in Meaningful Use incentive payments and is on target to receive $819,000 throughout the six-year program. Geminus Corporation, a Netsmart client since 1983, provides professional management and support services to Regional Mental Health Center.
- Red Rock Behavioral Health Services in Oklahoma City, Okla., recently received its first Meaningful Use incentive payment. With seven Eligible Professionals, Red Rock expects to receive $446,250 in total Meaningful Use incentive funds.
- Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center in Princeton, W. Va. has received its 2011 incentive payment of $85,000 and could receive up to a total of $255,000 over the six-year program based on four Eligible Professionals.
- Pathways, Inc., an Ashland, Ky. - based provider of behavioral healthcare services, is receiving a $127,500 first year payment based on six Eligible Professionals, with the potential of receiving $382,500 for those professionals over the six-year funding period.
In addition to these provider organizations, nearly 40 other Netsmart clients are already prepared for Meaningful Use and an additional 20 are finalizing their plans.
"It's a great confidence builder for our clients to see the funds tied to their achieving Meaningful Use begin to flow," said Netsmart CEO Mike Valentine. "We're pleased to be a continued driving force in providing Meaningful Use solutions, education, awareness and advocacy on behalf of our clients."
"It's especially rewarding to see the efforts of Netsmart and our clients support the ultimate goal of the incentive program—leveraging technology to improve the quality of care and clinical outcomes while at the same time reducing the cost of care. Together, we are producing real, measurable results."
Netsmart's Meaningful Use initiatives support the "Triple Aim" for healthcare system delivery improvement as outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:
- Better care for individuals
- Better health for populations
- Lower costs through continuous improvement
In addition, Netsmart's delivery of Meaningful Use solutions reinforces the elements of HIT-enabled health reform envisioned by inclusion of the Meaningful Use incentive program in the HITECH Act:
- Use of EHRs to capture health information in a structured format
- Use of health information technology for continuous quality improvement at the point of care and the exchange of information in the most structured format possible
- Improvements in quality, safety and efficiency that lead to improved health outcomes
Healthcare providers need only adopt (purchase) an ARRA-certified EHR to meet the Meaningful Use requirement of using an ARRA-certified EHR in the first year of participation in the Medicaid Meaningful Use funding program. There is no requirement to demonstrate Meaningful Use in the first year, and no EHR reporting is required. Eligible providers who have already adopted, implemented or upgraded to an ARRA-certified EHR would also receive a first year payment.
In addition to ARRA-certified EHR solutions, Netsmart also provides educational support, including Web seminars, white papers, presentations, online tools and strategic plan development support, to help organizations learn more about Meaningful Use, determine the amount of incentive dollars they might be eligible to receive, and what process changes are involved in order to apply for and receive funds.