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Tuesday August 16, 2011 Edition
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Middlebury Family Health at Porter First in EHR Incentive Program In Vermont

Tuesday August 16, 2011

   Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy D Vt. and Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc under the direction of VITL President and CEO Dr. David Cochran M.D., and Joshua J.Seidman, PhD, Director, Meaningful Use-Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services held a joint press conference on Friday morning August 12th 2011 at Middlebury Family Health at Porter Hospital in Middlebury to announce the first Vermont physician practice to successfully participate in the federal electronic health records incentive program and to discuss the improvements in patient care it has created.

   In his remarks Leahy stressed the importance of  the $27 billion federal program and the fact that Middlebury Family Health is the first Vermont practice to receive incentive payments from Medicare for using an effective electronic health records system.  “Better records mean better patient care,” Leahy explained.  He went on to examine the key phrase in being considered for the incentive program: “meaningful use” All four physicians at Middlebury Family Health recently achieved meaningful use status and each has received a maximum first year incentive payment of $18,000 from Medicare.  The practice will use the federal funds to pay for the EHR (Electronic Health Records) technology and to continue to make investments in improving patient care.  In her remarks, Middlebury Family Health partner Eileen Doherty Fuller MD  amplified the remarks made earlier in the press conference by state and federal officials when she explained that “Our electronic health records system has streamlined communication in the office between physicians, nurses and other staff.”  Dr. Fuller went on to point out that “Often patients don't realize it is time for them to come in, so we are able to be more proactive about reminders,” she said.  VITL assisted Porter Medical Center with implementation of the hospital’s new EHR system, that went live on August 1st.  It includes a lab system interface to the Vermont Health Information Exchange.  Lab results are immediate.


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