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Bosworth Proves Obama Incentives for Electronic Health Records Work

I hate to call prospective (prospecting?) GOP Senate candidate Annette Bosworth a red-state moocher. I'm willing to embrace the idea that she became the first physician in South Dakota to meet new federal standards for the use of electronic health records because she truly and correctly believes that EHRs improve service for patients.

But we must recognize that part of the reason Bosworth got ahead of the curve on health technology was the federal gold that President Barack Obama put in them thar EHRs via his stimulus law, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Tucked into that big bill was the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. Under the HITECH Act, doctors who adopt EHRs and meet the federal "meaningful use" criteria by 2016 can get $44K from Medicare or $64K through Medicaid. Dawdlers who don't adopt EHRs face penalties

South Dakota's Medicaid program has proudly issued over $16 million in federal EHR incentive payments. Dr. Bosworth makes clear that she wouldn't have been able to fully implement EHRs and qualify for these incentives without more federal help:

According to Dr. Bosworth, HealthPOINT's services were crucial to getting the office prepared to attest to meaningful use. "When we first decided to attest to meaningful use, I thought we were ready. But there were so many little roadblocks and issues. Nothing major, but just things we wouldn't have known how to figure out without an expert" [Jeff Pickett, "Physician first in SD to be federally validated as meaningful user,", 2011.12.20].

HealthPoint, as you may recall, is the Extension-like service created at Dakota State University to help South Dakota doctors implement EHRs. That "crucial" service exists thanks to over $6 million in stimulus money from the Obama Administration. Similar services across the country have been helping thousands of doctors literally get with the program.

As with so many other sensible health care ideas, the U.S. still lags behind other countries in EHR adoption. But we're catching up thanks to the 2009 stimulus and the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

If Dr. Bosworth is an honest campaigner, she'll have to forgo her Republican Party's usual line that federal dollars are the root of all evil and admit that her success depends in part on the sensible health care policies of the Obama Administration. Honest campaigning like that might keep her from sounding like just another hypocritical red-state moocher.


  1. Roger Elgersma 2013.06.13

    She knows that to give a patient the best care the doctor needs to know the whole history of that patient. Having been on the outs with the medical establishment, she needed to have easy access to those records, so she needed to do this to be a good doctor. So she did what she had to. If you do not fit the buddy system, you still need to have the right information. She did what was best for her patients. That is a good doctor.

  2. Roger Elgersma 2013.06.13

    With this type of information available, better research will be possible. If they can keep the names of the patients out of it for privacy reasons, we can all benefit from better research because research based on much larger numbers would be better research.

  3. jerry 2013.06.13

    Good to hear you are in such sound support of Obamacare Roger Elgersma. The good doctor realized, much like another tea party member from Arizona, the governor, that Obamacare works. The good doctor will amuse us all with a twisted dance when she is asked about her love for Obamacare and how it has not only made her a wad of dough, but also has enriched the goods and services of the patients. She has proven that Obamacare works, just as it was designed to! I cannot imagine why anyone would have voted against it, only a fool would have done so.

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