NC Electronic Health Record Loan Fund Pilot Project Now Accepting Applications Online

The NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission, in partnership with the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation and The Center for Community Self Help has developed a pilot program that provides EHR loans specifically focusing on small rural/underserved and urban practices. This pilot program will allow these practices access to the capital required to purchase an EHR prior to the onset of the ARRA-funded federal incentive program under Medicaid and Medicare.

North Carolina Medical Society Foundation (NCMSF) is conducting a pre-application/qualification process for the loan program through the website. The pre-qualification process will ensure practices are able and ready to implement an EHR system to accomplish “meaningful use.”

The Center for Community Self Help will underwrite, originate and service loans made in the fund. Self Help is a community development lender that provides financing to low-income, minority, and rural individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations, assisting those borrowers and strengthening their communities. Self Help will use commercially reasonable efforts to fully collateralize the loans and obtain third party guarantees when available.

A key component of the HITECH funding from Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is the creation of Regional Extension Centers (REC) whose role is to provide technical assistance to health care providers to adopt or enhance EHRs. The North Carolina Area Health Education Center (AHEC), the agency receiving funding for North Carolina, has agreed to partner with HWTF to ensure that loan recipient practices receive technical assistance to successfully implement EHRs so they can qualify and receive the Medicaid/Medicare incentive payment and repay the loan fund. The loan fund will be a critical asset to foster early adoption of EHRs throughout North Carolina and will integrate well with ongoing health information technology efforts in the state. Please visit www.healthwellnc.com for more information.

 
 

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