Ontario announces $236 million for
– Under a new program, eHealth Ontario will partner with OMA subsidiary
OntarioMD to implement the “EMR Adoption Program.” With support and
investment of approximately $236 million from eHealth Ontario, the new
program will broaden and accelerate physician adoption of EMRs over the
next three years. This means EMRs will be accessible to more physicians,
allowing them to leverage information technology to improve patient care
and practice efficiency.
“There is pent-up demand for this program”, said Dr. Suzanne Strasberg
President of the Ontario Medical Association. Ensuring that electronic
medical records are available in every doctor’s office is an important
step towards improving and strengthening Ontario’s health care system.”
The previous Primary Care IT Program provided funding to 3,300 family
physicians for EMRs in Ontario. The new EMR Adoption Program will see
this number increase by 5,700, to a total of 9,000 physicians, with the
ability to provide 10 million Ontarians with an electronic medical
record by 2012.
All practice-based primary care physicians and, for the first time,
specialists are eligible for the program. The program will provide both
one-time and monthly funding, as well as transition and adoption support
services. Early EMR adopters, who helped expand and evolve the program,
are also eligible for a monthly subsidy in order to upgrade their EMRs
to the latest certified specification.
The new funding program stipulates that all physicians operating in
practices of less than three physicians will qualify for funding if they
use a certified Application Service Provider solution (ASP) hosted at
Under the program, eligible physicians will receive subsidies to
transform their offices. They will receive approximately $28,000 over
three years to assist in successfully adopting a certified electronic
medical records system. The balance of the investment helps physicians
with change management, adoption support services, technology
enhancements and access to web-based information. The total cost of the
program is $236 million over three years.
“These systems help physicians advance patient safety and provide better
care through medication management and special features for patients
with chronic conditions such as diabetes,” said Rob Devitt, interim
President and CEO of eHealth Ontario.
New EMR Adopter funding is intended to promote and enable physician
office transformation from paper-based to electronic medical records
increasing timely access to patient information when and where it is
needed. The funding will include both one-time payments and monthly
In addition to EMR funding, the program also includes transition support
services to assist physician practices in the necessary organizational
changes when advancing information technology. These services are
provided by OntarioMD at no cost to program participants.
Posted November 12, 2009