By Joseph Goedert

A survey of nearly 2,000 professionals in physician group practices finds strong support for the health information technology grants, loans and incentive payments to accelerate IT adoption that are in the economic stimulus bill.

Chicago-based Allscripts in January sent an email invitation to take the Internet survey to 50,000 professionals in more than 13,000 client group practices. The 1,888 respondents use the vendor's electronic health records, practice management, e-prescribing, revenue cycle management, document management or medication services products.

The respondents break down this way: 242 from C-level executives, 304 from clinicians, 313 from IT professionals, and 1,029 from practice administrators, managers and other staff.

Eighty-two percent of respondents strongly agreed that the government should provide funding for EHRs via the stimulus bill. In general, small practices prefer grants to help purchase an EHR while larger practices want incentive payments for using one. But 68 percent of all respondents say they would be likely to participate in a pay-for-purchase proposal that provides financial incentives over five years as reimbursement for the purchase of an EMR.

Seventy-seven percent of small-practice respondents and 82 percent of larger practices (which comprise 81 percent of respondents), support retroactive incentive payments for those already using EHRs. Nearly three-fourths of all respondents support government funding to upgrade existing EHRs.

Survey results also suggest that existing e-prescribing and EHR incentive programs are working. Thirty-seven percent of respondents are participating in e-prescribing programs. More than 10 percent of respondents have received an offer from a hospital to subsidize the cost of an EHR via the federal Stark and safe harbor rules.

Complete survey results and the vendor's interpretation of the results are available at

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