Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood, S.C., will offer to affiliated physicians integrated practice management and electronic health records software at a "substantial" discount.

The delivery system, anchored by a 414-bed hospital, also will host the software, from Chicago-based Allscripts, and interface it with hospital information systems. Self Regional licensed the software for its 59 employed physicians, but also negotiated a price for community physicians who wish to take advantage of the discount, says CIO Chuck McDevitt.

The delivery system is not taking advantage of relaxed provisions of the Stark Act to subsidize the cost of the software. That was considered, but the requirements under Stark are detailed, and getting a discount and hosting the software was seen as preferable, McDevitt adds. "It's easier to take an arm's length contractual relationship," he notes. "These are five-year contracts and we become a business associate to the practices."

Offering discounted software will strengthen Self Regional's relationship with community physicians and help them quality for meaningful use incentives under the economic stimulus law, says CEO James Pfeiffer. Self Regional serves an eight-county region with a 55 percent EHR adoption rate among community physicians, including a large group practice.

More information is available at selfregional.org.

--Joseph Goedert

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