Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. CEO Juan N. Babauta said the federally mandated electronic health record system for the Commonwealth Health Center is moving forward and is on track.
He said that Dr. Norman Okamura, University of Hawaii Telecommunications and Social Informatics Research Program director who serves as liaison for the project, was on island last week to inspect the new system.
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is authorized to offer incentive payments to hospitals and eligible providers demonstrating meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology.
The corporation had asked the Legislature to appropriate $1.58 million for the government hospital to fully implement this project and this later obtained funding assistance from the Marianas Public Land Trust through a loan agreement.
Babauta said a portion of this $1.5-million loan was utilized for stage 1 requirements of the program that requires the use of electronic health record system technology. This project required no local matching from the corporation.
“Once we prove our meaningful use of this system, we will be getting the incentives from the federal government that will help the hospital further move forward. I can say, we are on track on this project,” Babauta said.
Saipan Tribune learned that the corporation can get $2 million in federal incentives in the first year, $1.5 million in the second, $1 million in the third, and $500,000 in the fourth, if it successfully implements the project.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services encourages providers and health agencies to use electronic health record systems to plan, implement, and sustainably maintain a secure health information exchange capability connected to the National Health Information Network. The plan builds on the capacity of local and regional exchange efforts.