Medical informatics adoption strong in Michigan

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According to a recent announcement by the Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption (MCEITA), more than 3,724 primary care physicians across the state have committed to adopting medical informatics systems, reports Healthcare IT News.

This figure represents almost 25 percent of primary care facilities in Michigan. MCEITA is a regional extension center (REC) that was founded in 2010, funded by a $19-million grant from nonprofit organization the Altarum Institute. MCEITA offers a range of support services to healthcare providers throughout the state, including consultation regarding the selection and implementation of clinical informatics networks.

“We have witnessed firsthand providers making significant strides in switching to an electronically enabled practice,” Dan Armijo, president of MCEITA, told the news source. “The 3,724 providers who have partnered with our REC are leading the way for Michigan’s medical community in meeting the meaningful use [electronic health record] criteria, ultimately leading to improved patient healthcare.”

MCEITA will cease enrollment of healthcare providers into its support programs at the end of this year to comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) meaningful use adoption framework. Commencing in 2012, MCEITA will provide consultation services to member providers regarding how they can most effectively adopt medical informatics usage practices in order to qualify for the CMS’ federal financial incentive payments.

According to the website of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), RECs were established as part of the Health Information Technology Extension Program. More than $677 million has been allocated to the establishment and development of RECs under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.

One of the objectives of the initiative, which began in February of 2010, is to provide 100,000 primary care physicians with outreach and support services within a two-year period. Earlier this year, an addition $12 million was invested by the DHHS in developing programs offered by RECs to enable rural critical access hospitals to access medical informatics technology.