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Merge RIS earns meaningful use certification

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | October 14, 2011
Merge Healthcare's radiology information system has earned first-stage meaningful use certification, the Chicago-based company said Friday, meaning providers using the RIS could be eligible for up to $44,000 in federal reimbursement.

While scores of electronic health records have been certified compliant for meaningful use, Merge said its product is tailored to the radiologist's workflow and doesn't need add-ons to meet the government's requirements.

Merge RIS v7.0 was certified as a complete EHR for 2011-2012 on Oct. 13 by the Drummond Group Inc., a testing body authorized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
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Under the HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the government will dole out $20 billion to doctors who are "meaningful users" of EHR technology. Eligible physicians can earn up to $44,000 each.

About 90 percent of radiologists are estimated to qualify for the provisions, though like all doctors, to get the maximum benefits, they have to enroll in the program before October 2012. Penalties for users who don't meet meaningful use start applying in 2015.

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