N.Y. provider invests $400M for EHR initiative

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The North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System is subsidizing up to 85 percent of implementation and operation costs for an EHR system in the offices of its more than 7,000 affiliated physicians in New York City and Long Island—part of a $400 million investment to automate inpatient and outpatient records in all medical settings, including 13 hospitals.

In implementing the large EHR program, North Shore-LIJ will provide physicians with individual subsidies of up to $40,000 over five years.

The North Shore-LIJ EHR, powered by the Chicago-based Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, will be deployed this fall as part of an effort to drive improvements in the quality of care throughout the region. Embedded within the EHR are automated care guides that will seek to improve clinical care, prevent illness, and avoid medical and drug errors, the provider said.

Full-time and affiliated physicians who use the EHR will be able to access patient records and scheduling information in real-time from 13 North Shore-LIJ hospitals and other patient-care facilities, labs, pharmacies and other physicians.

“While the Obama administration and Congressional leaders are still negotiating a comprehensive bill, the essence of real health reform is going to happen at the local level by optimizing technology and involving physicians who are directly involved in delivering care to the communities we serve,” said Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of the North Shore-LIJ.

North Shore-LIJ will subsidize either 50 or 85 percent of each physician’s deployment cost and monthly operational fees, with a maximum incentive of $40,000 over five years.

The provider said it is able to offer these incentives to doctors because of recent exceptions made to the federal Stark Law, which previously prohibited hospitals from entering into financial arrangements with private physician practices.

In addition to the subsidies they receive from North Shore-LIJ, physicians may be eligible for up to $44,000 in Medicare incentives over five years as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

To market the service to North Shore-LIJ’s physician network, Allscripts is working with Henry Schein, a distributor of healthcare products and services to office-based practitioners.

The system is expected to be operational this November, according to John Bosco, North Shore-LIJ’s chief information officer. Bosco said the Allscripts’ EHR will connect to a separate inpatient clinical information system from Eclipsys that North Shore-LIJ is deploying at its hospitals and other facilities.