GE launches EMR stimulus program

GE Healthcare is launching a program designed to make up to $100 million in interest-free loans with deferred payments available to U.S. healthcare providers for the purchase of certified electronic medical record (EMR) systems. The objective of the program, called Stimulus Simplicity, is to help physician offices, outpatient clinics, and hospitals accelerate their acquisition and utilization of electronic medical records (EMR) software, according to the Chalfont St. Giles, U.K.-based vendor.

A joint offering of GE Capital and GE Healthcare, Stimulus Simplicity is a component of GE Healthcare's healthymagination initiative announced in May. The healthimagination's $6 billion global initiative to boost the company's focus on improving the quality of healthcare includes $2 billion allocated for financing assistance to customers.

The Stimulus Simplicity program is designed to enable healthcare facilities to purchase GE Centricity EMR and Centricity Enterprise software prior to 2011, when federal stimulus funds become available under the HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). In addition to providing interim funding terms that will make it possible to immediately acquire and implement EMR technology without having up-front capital costs, GE said it will warranty HITECH EMR product certification required for healthcare facilities to qualify for ARRA stimulus funds.

The Hazard Clinic in eastern Kentucky is among the first to qualify for the interest-free program, and will use the loan to purchase the vendor's Centricity EMR offering, GE said.

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