Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has introduced legislation to authorize Small Business Administration loans to small health care practices to assist them in buying health information technologies.  These would include electronic health records to meet meaningful use requirements in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Under the bill, S. 2765, the SBA would guarantee not more than 90% of a loan, with a maximum of $350,000 for an individual and $2 million for a group practice. Eligible providers include physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists, speed-language pathologists, audiologists, medical transcriptionists, pharmacists, home health providers, and suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics and orthotics. The bill would authorize the guaranteeing of a total of $10 billion in loans.

The legislation was referred to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Similar legislation recently passed the House as part of a larger bill, H.R. 3854, to support small lenders serving multiple industries. That bill also is in the Senate committee.

Text of both bills is available at

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