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Providers Enrolled with the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center Receive Over 25 Million Incentive Dollars

January 29, 2013

REC-enrolled providers more than twice as likely to receive Medicare Incentive Program payments.

Seattle, WA - Qualis Health announces that more than $25 million has been paid to healthcare providers enrolled with the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center for Health Information Technology (WIREC). The money came through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.

WIREC provides consulting services to over 3,600 healthcare professionals across Idaho and Washington State. To date, WIREC has more than 3,000 of these providers' EHRs up and running—and nearly 1,200 have achieved meaningful use. Meaningful use is the set of EHR standards defined by CMS that allows providers to earn incentive payments. WIREC's on-the-ground health IT coaches deliver customized one-on-one assistance to providers in different stages of EHR implementation and use, offering health IT outreach and education, EHR procurement guidance, workflow redesign, and implementation support. WIREC assists providers in all these areas with the ultimate goal of improving practice efficiency and optimizing patient care.

WIREC-enrolled provider Dr. John Nuetzmann of Bellingham Family Medicine, Bellingham, WA, recently became the first eligible professional in the state to attest to meaningful use under the Medicaid program. Dr. Nuetzmann says that the incentive money "has provided a much needed boost that has helped me improve my office infrastructure."

"WIREC's aim has always been to partner with providers in both states to help them not only receive meaningful use incentives, but to work in the trenches with them to ensure that health information technology is used to deliver optimum patient care outcomes," says Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, Qualis Health President and CEO.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that healthcare providers partnering with a Regional Extension Center (REC), like WIREC, are more than twice as likely to receive an incentive payment under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. Read the GAO's report, Electronic Health Records: Number and Characteristics of Providers Awarded Medicare Incentive Payments for 2011.

About the Washington & Idaho Regional Extension Center

Led by Qualis Health, WIREC provides technical assistance, guidance, vendor-neutral EHR adoption services and information to eligible healthcare professionals to help them achieve meaningful use of EHRs and qualify for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services incentive payments.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Evan Stults
Vice President, Communications
(206) 288-2458