6.16.2011, Local Doctor Nationally Recognized as Leader in Meaningful Use

Local Doctor Nationally Recognized as Leader in Transition to Electronic Health Records

San Juan, Puerto Rico – Today in San Juan, during the Health Information Technology Executive Summit 2011 hosted by the Puerto Rico Hospital Association, local health care provider, Dr. Aida Blasini, whose practice is in San Juan, was recognized by the Ponce School of Medicine Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (PSM REC) and The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for her outstanding advancement in the successful transition from using paper medical records to electronic health records (EHRs).

The PSM REC is the Regional Extension Center designated by Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to assist clinicians in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in becoming meaningful users of electronic health records. The PSM REC is pleased to welcome Dr. Aida Blasini into an exclusive group of leaders—the Meaningful Use Vanguard (MUV). MUV is an initiative of ONC, and is designed to honor, thank, and bring together clinicians like Dr. Blasini who have successfully made the transition to electronic health records. MUVers (members of the MUV program) serve as local leaders and advisors in the nation’s transition toward an electronically-enabled health care system.

“On behalf of the PSM REC, I congratulate Dr. Aida Blasini on this important distinction. We are proud to recognize Dr. Blasini as the first doctor to be achieve meaningful use in all of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Furthermore, Dr. Blasini is also one of the first practitioners nationally to achieve this status. Her experience is invaluable in helping clinicians take the necessary steps to transform from paper-based practices to electronically- enabled systems. We commend Dr. Blasini and her entire practice for being at the forefront of EHR implementation, and hope that her example will encourage other clinicians to follow in her footsteps, said Tony Fernandez, PSM REC Executive Director ”

Dr. Aida Blasini’s designation as a MUVer is awarded in tandem with another distinction as a leader in health information technology. Dr. Jaime Torres, the Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region II and Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT, Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey Certifications were both present to announce that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded $18,000 to Dr. Blasini as one of the first in incentive payments made under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

In the territories of Puerto Rico and the USVI, Medicaid incentive payments are available to eligible professionals and hospitals when they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of a certified electronic health record. The payments, made through the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, mean that physicians and other eligible professionals can qualify for as much as $44,000 through Medicare or $63,750 through Medicaid. Hospitals can qualify for payments of $2 million or more. Dr. Blasini has achieved the first step in a series of steps which has qualified her for the first incentive payment of $18,000. As she and other practioners continue to meet the criteria of the next steps of meaningful use, they will become eligible for the increased incentive payments.

In addition to these distinctions, Dr. Aida Blasini is being highlighted in an another campaign sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator, which highlights practitioners achieving meaningful use. “At my practice, we treat our patients like they are family. Using EHRs has helped us to treat our patients with more love and care. It has allowed us to be able to spend more time with them,” said Dr. Aida Blasini. “It has allowed me to focus on what really matters - improving the care I offer my patients.”

About the Ponce School of Medicine Health Information Exchange
Regional Extension Center (PSM REC)

The Ponce School of Medicine was awarded over 19.3 million dollars to establish the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (HITREC). The HITREC serves priority primary care physicians in the region of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, by providing outreach, education, vendor selection services, and technical assistance for the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs). The HITREC joins our nation’s health leaders by improving healthcare quality, efficiency, and access through the adoption, implementation, and helping our providers achieve meaningful use of electronic healthcare records.

Our vision is to improve overall public health and facilitate the delivery of health care services through full implementation and meaningful use of EHRs among priority PCPs within the multi-island region. Our mission is to advance the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records among priority primary care providers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with an emphasis upon serving solo and small-group practices that serve underserved and at-risk populations. By so doing, we intend to transform healthcare delivery within our region by creating an information-driven treatment environment in which the patient and the provider join together in making the best decisions.

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