SOURCE: Medsphere Systems Corporation

March 11, 2010 08:00 ET

New Online Tool Helps Hospitals Calculate Health IT Stimulus Dollars Available to Fund EHR

Medsphere's 'Stimulus ROI Calculator' Makes Estimating Federal Stimulus Dollars and Date of Return on Electronic Health Record Investment Free, Easy

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - March 11, 2010) - Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of open-source healthcare IT solutions, today unveiled a new Stimulus ROI Calculator designed to help hospitals make more informed, financially sound health IT decisions.

"This online Calculator," explained Medsphere President and CEO Mike Doyle, "demonstrates the ability of most hospitals to leverage federal stimulus dollars and totally fund a proven and comprehensive electronic health record solution, specifically, Medsphere's OpenVista® EHR. Moreover, our rapid six-to-nine-month implementation process assures OpenVista hospitals that they will be enabled to achieve meaningful use in time to qualify for maximum stimulus dollars. And to let hospitals know how committed we are to helping them achieve meaningful health IT use and thereby meet federal stimulus requirements, we put one-third of our subscription fees at risk."

This automated ROI Calculator uses Medicare and Medicaid discharge information to calculate the estimated federal stimulus dollars a hospital can qualify for by achieving meaningful use as defined by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The federal government is using ARRA, in part, to impel healthcare organizations to deploy and meaningfully use the health IT necessary to manage costs and improve patient care. The tool helps hospitals estimate five-year subscription fees for Medsphere's OpenVista® EHR solution based on the data they enter (exact figures available upon request). The Calculator then automatically correlates the two estimates -- EHR fees and ARRA stimulus -- to show hospital executives approximately how long it will take to recoup their EHR investment via ARRA.

"As hospitals ponder meaningful use of EHRs and meeting federal ARRA guidelines, they need straight answers from vendors on pricing, time to implementation, achievement of meaningful use and other key issues," said Doyle. "A general lack of vendor openness has made many hospitals reluctant to proceed though they may be leaving millions of sorely needed stimulus dollars on the table.

"As an open-source leader, we make every effort to 'walk the open-source talk.' In other words, our default setting is to collaborate wherever possible and be as transparent as possible. To that end, we're lifting the veil on OpenVista pricing. We want hospitals big and small, public and private, to know that, thanks to the stimulus bill, they really can afford to deploy a quality EHR that was 'battle-tested' over almost two decades of use by the Department of Veterans Affairs and more recently in award-winning Medsphere customer sites.

"The Calculator arms hospitals with pertinent, facility-specific information so they can make prudent health IT decisions, and ultimately achieve widespread EHR adoption, workflow automation and clinical transformation."

Simple Stimulus Calculations
Using the new Calculator is simple. Hospitals enter their Medicare provider number and bed size, and the tool automatically populates fields with pertinent Medicare and Medicaid discharge data. It also calculates the estimated ARRA stimulus funds each hospital qualifies for over the life of the stimulus program -- i.e., fiscal years 2011 to 2014.

Hospitals can also estimate annual and five-year subscription fees for OpenVista implementation, support and services (the software is open source and therefore free), then cross-reference available stimulus funds and OpenVista fees to help determine the exact time to return on their EHR investment. No hospital financial data is collected.

"This transparent pricing tool enables us to clearly demonstrate the value proposition of OpenVista and Medsphere as a partner, coupled with ARRA stimulus funds," noted Doyle. "Given our system's affordability, many hospitals will realize a two or three times return on investment from federal funding. All will ultimately enjoy long-term gains in efficiency and automation."

Special Note
Several variables can impact the numbers the Calculator produces, not all of which could be controlled for in creating the tool. The number of staffed vs. licensed beds may be a factor, for example, as well as how beds are categorized -- acute vs. skilled nursing vs. long-term care. The intent of the Stimulus ROI Calculator is to demonstrate the value of Medsphere's solution in terms of overall cost compared with the estimated amount of ARRA stimulus dollars a hospital can receive. In most cases, a specific cost proposal will show that Medsphere's solution is substantially less expensive than the estimated five-year total cost produced by the Calculator. Contact Medsphere for a custom cost proposal.

About Medsphere and OpenVista
Founded in 2002 and based in Carlsbad, Calif., Medsphere Systems Corporation is an award-winning organization of clinical and technology professionals working to make quality health IT solutions accessible to organizations of virtually any size, shape or budget. Medsphere's OpenVista® is a portfolio of clinical support products and professional services that leverages an electronic health record (EHR) system developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This VistA EHR is widely credited with helping transform the VA into the nation's most efficient and clinically effective healthcare organization. OpenVista, the most fully commercialized VistA offspring, is a responsible reapplication of the VA's $8.5 billion investment.

Medsphere's subscription-based pricing model enables hospital, clinic and integrated delivery network customers to pay for OpenVista from their operating budget with no upfront costs or back-end balloon payments. Expert implementation and other services facilitate fluid and rapid transition to a paperless clinical environment focusing on best practices and evidence-based medicine in six to nine months. Medsphere also actively nurtures the Healthcare Open Source Ecosystem, a global community of customers, partners, developers and other online collaborators who drive OpenVista innovation, and provide a parallel development and support structure.

Learn more about the company at medsphere.com and the Ecosystem at medsphere.org.

Take Medsphere's Stimulus Calculator for a test drive at www.medsphere.com/stimulus-roi-calculator.

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