Group practices seeking advice from a federally funded Regional Extension Center should proceed with caution, advises one expert at the Medical Group Management Association. In some cases, the extension centers-ostensibly designed to facilitate group practice adoption of EHR technology-may have exclusivity deals with software vendors, says Robert Tennant, senior policy advisor at MGMA.

Not only do RECs charge for their consulting services, they may have limited options when it comes to installations, Tennant pointed out at MGMA's annual conference taking place this week in New Orleans. "Some RECs require signing with one or two vendors," he noted. "That may or may not be a good vendor" for a given practice.

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