Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Negotiations on economic recovery package ongoing; urge your legislators to include IT funds for CAHs in final economic recovery bill

House and Senate negotiators are hard at work ironing out the differences between their versions of a sweeping economic recovery bill that they hope to have ready for the President’s signature by this weekend. The House bill does not contain Medicare incentive payments for Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to adopt health information technology (IT), as it does for hospitals paid under the Medicare inpatient prospective payment system. The Senate bill does make CAHs eligible for Medicare incentive payments for health IT. It caps payments at $1.5 million per hospital.

As negotiations get underway on the final bill, please contact your legislators and ask them to urge their respective party leaders to ensure that CAHs are eligible for health IT funding in the final economic recovery package that is sent to the President.

Investing in the health infrastructure of all types of hospitals enhances communication and care coordination across the continuum, which improves the entire system’s effectiveness and efficiency and enhances quality of care and safety for patients.

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