EHR Providers Turning to Financing to Drive Sales in advance of ARRA

Dec. 22, 2009

ARMONK, NY, Dec. 22, 2009 –  IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced that IBM Global Financing has entered into new financing agreements with four leading electronic healthcare records (EHR) providers to jumpstart health IT adoption in advance of government stimulus funding. Siemens Healthcare, Lavender & Wyatt Systems, Inc., Healthcare Management Systems and SCC Soft Computer  are joining the growing ranks of EHR providers accessing low-rate, private financing to make it easier for hospitals and medical providers to access their solutions using federal stimulus funding.

EHRs hold the potential to make health care more efficient, safer and lower costs, but a lack of capital is holding back many hospitals and physician practices from making the move to digital records.

The federal government under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will eventually provide billions of dollars in incentives to encourage the adoption of EHRs but unanswered questions remain such as the timeline for reimbursement and precisely how health care providers must prove records are used effectively. And while the terms of reimbursement are still unclear, a financing gap exists for many hospitals and doctors wanting to make the move to EHRs. The switch is especially difficult for smaller medical groups under greater challenges to manage costs.

IBM which already provides thousands of health care clients and partners technology hardware, middleware and services that accompany EHR applications, will extend financing to make it possible for healthcare organizations to begin immediately installing EHR systems from these four vendors.

“Customers of electronic healthcare records solutions soon realize that while health IT technology is necessary, it’s also expensive,” said Richard Dicks, general manager for North America, IBM Global Financing. “Costs have today become a non-technological barrier to health IT adoption. It’s a chicken and egg scenario facing medical providers. Many are waiting for government funding working its way through the system, but need the benefits of the technology today. Technology financing helps speed up implementation in a more cost effective manner.”

According to IT analyst firm Ovum, with the addition of Siemens Healthcare, Lavender and Wyatt and Healthcare Management Systems, IBM Global Financing has strengthened its already leading position as financier to health IT vendors in the marketplace today. Ovum expects more health IT companies to add financing to their go-to-market strategies since it helps customers manage costs and accelerate deployment in advance of the deadlines set by the US Government.

“IBM Global Financing’s strategic financing relationships with market-leading EHR providers, combined with IBM’s health care services and software, is helping medical professionals use technology to uncover new ways to reduce errors, spot trends, improve patient care, and gather new insights into how to keep people healthier,”  said Dan Pelino, general manager, IBM Global Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry. “IBM provides a complete set of health care solutions to solve the complex problems facing the industry today with consultation and readiness assessment services, integration, analytics, storage, security and now financing.”

IBM Global Financing will now provide financing for Siemens clinical and revenue cycle management applications, including INVISION®, MedSeries4® and Soarian®. IBM infrastructure and healthcare consulting services can also be financed and packaged as part of the solution. The combination of Siemens leading healthcare information systems with IBM’s transformation services, infrastructure and financing will help health systems plan, implement and effectively adopt these complex solutions.

“Siemens Healthcare knows first-hand how important financing has become to helping hospitals, physician practices and specialty clinics bridge the financial gap and match costs to benefits while implementing new solutions under the ARRA’s HITECH provision, “said Joe Gaetano, vice president, Siemens Healthcare ARRA Program Office.” It goes without saying that IBM Global Financing is a key part of the funding solutions we are proud to offer our customers.”

Lavender and Wyatt Systems Inc. is an enterprise software solutions company focused on behavioral health providers.  Most of its clients are 501(c)(3)s not-for-profit, community behavioral health agencies. Over the past nine months LWSI has signed up several new behavioral healthcare providers that are leveraging IBM Global Financing’s private technology funding offerings to help them jump-start their EHR implementations.

“Even at the niche level, financing is key,” said Brad Feller, President,  Lavender and Wyatt Systems, Inc. “Many of our clients have seen reduced funding from public and private sources, but still understand the need to start implementing solutions today.  We feel that helping our clients connect the dots between, federal grants and loans, charity pricing and IBM Global Financing options stretches their dollars available for LWSI’s Essentia solution.”

LWSI provides an IGF quote with every proposal that includes projected monthly payments to make it easier for customers to act now and get a step up on the benefits gained by EHRs.

Nashville-based Healthcare Management Systems (HMS) is a leading provider of financial and clinical software solutions, including a fully integrated electronic medical healthcare records solutions to under 250-bed regional and community hospitals.  One of its solutions, HMS Patient Care Documentation is a fully-integrated, multi-disciplinary clinician application that allows for online patient charting with increased organization and navigation capabilities.
“IBM Global Financing will be a key partner in helping HMS’ hospital-clients attain meaningful use criteria in a timely fashion,” said Mike Freeman, senior vice-president of sales.

SCC Soft Computer is one of the leading and most widely recognized providers of clinical information management systems for the healthcare IT industry.  SCC is at the forefront of laboratory, genetics, blood services, outreach, pharmacy, and radiology information systems software development and offers full suites of Web-enabled clinical information management system solutions that enable SCC clients to do more in less time and effort.

www.ibm.com/financing

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