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North Carolina Electronic Health Record Loan

For more information, please contact the Programs Coordinator, Mandy Haynes at (919) 833-3836 ext.134 or mhaynes@ncmedsoc.org.
North Carolina Electronic Health Record Loan Fund

The loan program is managed by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Health Information Technology (with the original program moving from the HWTF in July 2011) , to provide Electronic Health Record (EHR) loans specifically focusing on small rural/underserved and urban primary care practices. Practices in all 100 counties are eligible to apply.

This program will allow primary care 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. The loans are structured for practices who traditionally have been underserved by conventional lenders, as well as practices who serve a disproportionate number of Medicaid/Medicare and indigent patients.. The size of the loan will vary based on the practice need for equipment and training. The average loan size ranges from $40-$60,000 and collateral is required.

The funds can be used for:

  • Facilitating the purchase of a certified EHR technology or upgrading an existing EHR technology to meet Meaningful Use certification criteria.
  • To Train personnel in the use of such technology.
  • To improve the secure electronic exchange of health information through the N.C. Health Information Exchange.

The loans for the program are underwritten by Self Help with interest rates in the range of prime plus 2-4%.

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Health Information Technology is contracting with the following agencies to facilitate the loan program:

  1. N. C. Medical Society Foundation (www.ncmsfoundation.org) will conduct a pre-application/qualification process for the loan program. Eligibility for the pilot program will include readiness to adopt EHRs as well as their financial viability. NCMSF staff will provide ongoing technical assistance by phone, email and on-site visits to practices interested in applying. The pre-qualification process will ensure practices are able and ready to implement an EHR system to accomplish "meaningful use" including:
    • Commit to interface with NC Health Information Exchange
    • Participate in ongoing technical assistance from the NC AHEC Regional Extension Center and NC Medical Society Foundation
    • Prepare a financial and business plan
    • Create a project plan for EHR implementation
    • Ensure "readiness" to begin EHR implementation including staff training and resulting changes to practice workflow
    • Select an approved EHR product from the "preferred vendor list" to ensure system ability to meet meaningful use standards
  2. The Center for Community Self-Help (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 the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Health Information Technology 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.

For more information, please contact the Programs Coordinator, Mandy Haynes at (919) 833-3836 ext.134 or mhaynes@ncmedsoc.org.