Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NC Makes EHR Loans Available

The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund (HWTF) created the North Carolina “Electronic Health Record Loan Fund Pilot Program” to provide seed money for the state’s healthcare providers. The pilot will provide financial assistance to healthcare providers in Tier 1 counties seeking to create or upgrade EHR systems required for CMS reimbursements beginning in 2015.

“Doctors in rural North Carolina need as much help as we can provide,” said Governor Bev Perdue. “These electronic health record systems will enable them to deliver better medical care in the smaller towns and cities across out state.”

A grant of $127.461 was awarded to the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation to provide technical assistance to evaluate the EHR loan fund pilot program over a five year period. The Center for Community Self-Help, a Durham-based non-profit will manage the $750,000 loan fund and underwrite prospective borrowers. The Center will also work in partnership with the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers to identify eligible providers and help them transition to advanced EHR systems.

The revolving loan fund is designed as a pilot program to expand its initial capital within the first year of operation. Individual loans are expected to range in size from $40,000 to $60,000 and may be used to:

• Purchase a certified EHR technology or upgrade an existing EHR system to meet certification criteria
• Train personnel in the use of the technology
• Improve the secure electronic exchange of health information

Loans will vary in pricing based on the borrower’s credit/collateral profile and will feature flexible repayment terms to better serve the needs of a wide variety of practices.