Pharmacy HIT Loans to Soften Financial Hit of Adoption

A recently passed amendment will provide relief for pharmacists bearing the financial brunt of adopting health information technology (HIT). State licensed pharmacists and other health care providers would be offered a reduced-cost lending program to get up to speed with HIT if the amendment, slated for a full House vote in the near future, passes.

"The timing of this financial assistance is especially appreciated with the federal government's drive to have system-wide use of electronic health records in a few years," said Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association. "Now pharmacists can focus on helping to create a system that works for everybody and not worry about the implementation costs of participation."

Late last month, the US House Small Business Committee passed the Small Business Financing and Investment Act of 2009 (HR 3854), which included the amendment-the Small Business Health Information Technology Financing Act (HR 3014). Aside from providing the loans at lower cost guaranteed up to 90%, they would also come with a subsidized deferment period of up to 3 years.

For other articles in this issue, see:

Decision Time: Pharmacy's Stake in Health Care Reform