The American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is a Health Information Technology for Economy and Clinical Health (HITECH) which is a package that stimulates the economy of the United States and it was enacted in the American constitution in 2009, Murphy and Waterfill, 69. The ARRA is specifically meant to stimulate the united state’s economy. The ARRA stimulates the economy of US through extension of unemployment benefits, improvement in education and health services, tax relief and improvement in the infrastructure. The act also involves studying the effectiveness of medical services.
The ARRA has billions of dollars that are used to pay for medical and heath service providers for the meaningful use, Beaver K. and Herold R, 231. Meaning use in relation to the HITECH ARRA Act refers to the regulatory actions taken by health departments which include the use of electronic health records. The main objective of meaningful use is to ensure that electronic technology is used well in the process of providing health care services to people. To be eligible as a meaningful user, hospitals are required to demonstrate meaningful use of Electronic Health Records, Ahima.com, 2010. In addition, they should show that EHR connects in a good manner that can allow exchange of health information electronically. The incentives for meaningful use are usually given to the people who provide Medicare and Medicaid. The people who usually provide medical services in hospital settings are usually not eligible for meaningful use incentives. Family based physicians are also not eligible for the meaningful use incentives. The greatest challenge with the HITECH ARRA act comes in selecting those professionals eligible for the incentives.
The HITECH act also established the EHR incentive program to be part of the ARRA. The HITECH offers Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments for the healthcare facilities that practice meaningful use of EHR technology, Patricia I, 5. The HITECH usually works as a resource for those providing medical care to understand the ARRA act. It also supports the adoption of electronic health record technology through the EHR incentives. According to Exscribe Inc 2010, the HITECH Act is composed of funding the state to start and promote the adoption of healthcare information exchange technology and payment of incentives to healthcare facilities that show meaningful use of healthcare technologies which are electronic.
The HITECH ARRA act has several opportunities. Through the use of EHR, it has an opportunity to provide and ensure affordable healthcare to the citizens. More so, there are plans underway for a health information technology extension program that is meant to help health providers who wish to become meaningful users of the medical electronic health record technology. They are also able to give the health providers an access to health incentive that lead towards achieving their objective of ensuring health provision for the citizens.
The HITECH ARRA act also faces challenges in trying to achieve their objectives. According to Exscribe Inc 2010, researchers have found that only a small percentage of hospitals are already using the EHR technology. They had predicted that a high number of physicians will adopt the new technology but this has not been the case. The legislation and rules of the act are also le4ngthy and time consuming and some other times they are confusing thus many medical practitioners have not been able to adopt them.
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