Buyer beware: Issues to consider when contracting with EHR vendors
Electronic health record contracts are typically written in a manner favorable to the vendor. A solid contract is critical to a successful long-term relationship and helps to ensure your EHR lives up to its advertised potential. To help physicians navigate the EHR contract, the Texas Medical Association has developed a white paper including eight key considerations in vendor contracting.
“EHR Buyer Beware: Issues to Consider When Contracting with EHR Vendors” is not an exhaustive list of considerations and TMA recommends you have your regional extension center or an attorney carefully review your final contract prior to signing.
Texas has seen a record number of EHR purchases in 2011. Incentives are available to eligible physicians who “meaningfully use” a certified EHR – up to $44,000 under Medicare or up to $63,750 under Medicaid.
Recognizing the challenges associated with implementing or upgrading EHRs, the federal government established Texas Regional Extension Centers to give physicians access to technical consultants and provide on-site help. REC consultants can help you evaluate EHRs, negotiate the contract, and help make a selection to fit the needs and budget of your practice. The fee for this service is $300 per primary care physician. Even if you already have an EHR in place, these consultants can help you address any challenges that arise in reaching “meaningful use.” Visit TMA’s REC Resource Center for more information.
If you have questions about the white paper, federal incentives, or REC services, contact the TMA Health Information Technology helpline at (800) 880-5720 or HIT@texmed.org.