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Legislation Introduced to Help Doctors Fund Medical Records

11.16.2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Finance Committee and former Chairman of the Small Business Committee, today introduced legislation to help family doctors modernize their patients’ records and prescriptions.

The Small Business Health Information Technology Financing Act of 2009 would make family doctors and other small medical practices eligible for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to cover the costs of health information technology to create electronic health records and prescriptions.

“Electronic medical records and prescriptions are the common sense solution to restricting costs, reducing errors, and reforming a broken system. Doctors don’t need convincing – they’ve seen the results,” said Sen. Kerry. “This legislation helps small practices acquire the technology that will allow them to be more efficient and to focus on patient care.”

Kerry’s legislation would make small business health professionals eligible for SBA loans for health information technology including computer hardware, software, and other technology that will assist in the use of electronic health records and prescriptions. According to the Institute of Medicine, one-third of written prescriptions require follow-up clarification, with medication mistakes causing 7,000 deaths and 1.5 million injuries per year.

In 2007, Kerry introduced the Medicare Electronic Medication and Safety Protection (E-MEDS) Act of 2007 to require physicians to utilize electronic prescription technology. The provision passed into law in 2008 as part of the Medicare bill.