Kirksville Physicians Honored for Electronic Health Records Achievement

The Missouri Health Information Technology Assistance Center will recognize two Kirksville health care providers for their successful transition to electronic health records (EHRs) during a ceremony at noon Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Complete Family Medicine Clinic in Kirksville. Wesley Ryle, MD, and Justin Puckett, DO, will be inducted into the Meaningful Use Vanguard, a national initiative that honors, thanks and brings together clinicians who are successfully transitioning to EHRs.

The Missouri Health Information Technology (MO HIT) Assistance Center has made Missouri a national leader in moving health care providers to EHRs. The center was established at the University of Missouri School of Medicine with $6.8 million in federal funding. It is one of 62 such centers created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information, to make the transition to EHRs faster and easier for health care providers. Officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and MO HealthNet will attend the event. Complete Family Medicine will host an open house immediately following the ceremony.

“I congratulate Drs. Ryle and Puckett on this important distinction,” said Lanis Hicks, PhD, who leads the Missouri Health Information Technology Assistance Center. “Their achievements mark an exciting phase in the modernization of Missouri health care, and we know many other clinicians are currently working toward the same goal to transform from paper-based practices to electronically enabled systems. We commend Drs. Ryle and Puckett for being at the forefront of EHR implementation, and we hope their example will encourage other clinicians to follow in their footsteps.”

MO HealthNet awarded to Ryle and Puckett the first incentive payments made under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. The payments, made through the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, allow physicians and other eligible professionals to qualify for as much as $44,000 through Medicare or $63,750 through Medicaid. For the Medicaid EHR incentive payments, professionals are eligible for up to $21,250 in year one if they are able to document the effort to “adopt, implement, or upgrade” an EHR system, and they can earn up to $8,500 for each of the five subsequent years.
MO HIT Assistance Center partners at MU include the School of Medicine’s Department of Health Management and Informatics, which is ranked fifth nationally for its physician education program; the Center for Health Policy, which serves as a statewide resource for analysis, education and communication about trends in health care; and the Missouri Telehealth Network. One of the nation’s first and largest telehealth networks, MU’s network has more than 200 telecommunication sites in more than 50 counties. The MO HIT Assistance Center’s other partners include EHR Pathway, the Missouri Primary Care Association, Primaris and the Hospital Industry Data Institute, a subsidiary of the Missouri Hospital Association.

The Missouri HIT Assistance Center was named a Regional Extension Center through an objective review process by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, as the designated organization in Missouri to support primary health care providers and small rural and critical access hospitals on EHR adoption and meaningful use. Health care providers may visit, contact, or call 1-877-882-9933 for information on Medicaid and Medicare EHR incentive programs and EHR adoption, as well as to learn more about how the MO HIT Assistance Center helps health care providers adopt and achieve meaningful use of EHRs.