par Astrid Fiano
, DOTmed News Writer | August 10, 2010
As part of a newly introduced bill, hospitals that are part of a larger multi-campus system sharing a single provider would be guaranteed electronic health record incentive payments.
The bill, Electronic Health Record Incentives for Multi-campus Hospitals Act, was introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). A version of the bill has also been introduced into the House. DOTmed has recently reported
on the concerns of multi-campus hospital systems over distribution of incentive payments.
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The bill provides electronic incentive payments under Medicare and Medicaid for "meaningful use" for each campus of a multi-campus hospital system--a main provider hospital and one or more qualified remote inpatient locations. The hospital system would have a choice of a base amount alternative (either receiving base payments for each component facility and one per-discharge amount), or a discharge amount alternative (one base payment with additional per-discharge amounts for each component facility).
The American Hospital Association has offered strong support for the bill in a letter to Senator Schumer, saying that the organization applauds the bill's intent to provide payment incentives in an equitable way to individual hospitals that are part of multi-campus hospital systems. "Providing these payments to only one hospital in a multi-hospital system would not accurately account for the implementation and training costs of EHRs across different institutions; nor would it accurately reflect differences in clinical services provided at different sites."
The letter went on to comment that the bill provides that payments would be available to all hospitals in a multi-campus system, and that "these hospitals could choose the calculation that would best meet the needs of their institutions and communities, either through additional base payments or additional per discharge amounts."
The Senate bill has now been referred to the Committee on Finance.
The AHA letter can be found here