Purchasing: How to Estimate the Cost of Your System
Trying to find out the actual price of what an EHR system will cost can be an exercise in patience and persistence. To begin with, there are many ways that vendors price their EHR products. The user licenses may be priced per billing provider, per provider FTE equivalent, per named user, per concurrent user, or based on a perentage of your organizational operating budget.
The process usually begins with a demo. Many vendors want to show you a thirty to sixty minute demo of the product before they will discuss system pricing.
EHR Incentives - The Stimulus Money
The U.S. government has made incentive money available for health care organizations to implement electronic health records. All of these products have a robust set of features and are on track to have their products certified by ONC. Behavioral healthcare providers must use an ONC certified EHR to qualify for Medicaid and Medicare Meaningful Use incentive payments. ONC is the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
- You must be able to demonstrate Meaningful Use of an EHR system.
- Incentive payments are not made to practices but to individual eligible professionals (EPs).
- For more information about the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please visit http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms
Behavioral Healthcare Magazine has published some very useful articles:
- Meaningful Use: Yes You Can
- Five Key Questions About EHR Incentive Funds
- Behavioral Health IT: The Haves and the Have Nots
How to Write a Request For Proposal (RFP)
- The RFP Process: An Overview - TechSoup Article
- Writing an RFP - Article from RFP Evaluation Centers, Inc.
- The RFP: Writing One and Responding to One - Article by Julia Rutherford Silvers
- Beyond the Template: Writing an RFP That Works - Article from SourcingMag.com
- Ask the Right Questions to Develop Your RFP - TechSoup Article. Four worksheets designed to help you develop an RFP for a new database, Web site, and network.
- Nine Tips for Navigating the RFP Research Phase - TechSoup Article. Conduct effective research and find a technology vendor without wasting weeks of valuable time.
- Put it in Writing: What Do You Need from a Provider? - TechSoup Stock connects nonprofits and public libraries with donated and discounted technology products.
Grants and Grant Writing
How to Fund Your Client Data Management System
There are many funding sources available for health and technology projects. The list below will give you a starting point. In addition, you can do an internet search on the following words and phrases. Put the phrase in quotation marks for better search results.
- Electronic Health Records
- Electronic Medical Records
- Health Information Technology
Instructions for Writing a Grant
- Basic Elements of Grant Writing - The Corporation for Public Broadcasting provides an easy guide to the basic elements of grant writing.
- Grant Proposals - A comprehensive site on proposal writing. Includes an overview, inquiry and cover letters, standard components of a proposal, a sample proposal, advice from funders, and more. Includes an excellent section on researching funding opportunities.
- Position Yourself to Write a Superior Technology Proposal - TechSoup Stock connects nonprofits and public libraries with donated and discounted technology products. Especially in difficult economic times, as foundation portfolios shrink.
- Ten Tips for Funding Technology - Budget technology expenses as shared costs, not overhead: One of the biggest mistakes people often make when preparing technology grant proposals is to simply lump technology.
- Beyond the Case Statement: Your Grant Proposal - The core of the proposal is your case statement (see Writing a Winning Grant Proposal, "Position Yourself to Write a Superior Technology Proposal, and "Building a Great Case Statement.
- Development Office Technology Planning - Your technology plan should focus on three primary areas: decision support, communication, and workflow. Your communications plan must be carefully integrated with your information.
Publications on Technology Funding
- Technology Grant News - A new resource, published four times a year, which identifies public and private sector funding sources in the technology arena.
- Technology Grant News: Everything Technology. - Book published annually.
- HIMSS Grants Advantage - Healthcare Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Information on funding healthcare technology. Paid subscription required.
- The Quiet Revolution in Nonprofit Capacity Support - 2003. Jonathan Peizer, chief technology officer and former director of the Open Society Institute's Internet Program. He is a co-founder of Aspiration and also the developer of Capaciteria, a peer-reviewed capacity resource for nonprofits.
- How Technology is Funded: The Basics - Excerpt from The Accidental Techie by Sue Bennett.
- U.S. Federal Government Grants Portal
- Health Resources and Services Administration
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Health Services for Vulnerable Populations - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality - Healthcare IT funding opportunities to create safer and more quality care in ambulatory settings and transitions of care. Grants include a Career Development and Dissertation Research Grant; Small Research Grant to Improve Healthcare Quality through Health IT; Exploratory and Developmental Grant to Improve Health Care Quality through Health IT; and Utilizing Health IT to Improve Health Care Quality Grant.
- Verizon Foundation - The foundation has an interest in supporting health and technology projects.
Technology Donations and Discounts
Many organizations give substantial discounts to nonprofits for hardware and software. It is worth exploring these options to see if you are eligible.
- TechSoup has an online product donation service that connects nonprofits with technology product donations from more than twenty-five leading corporate and nonprofit technology partners. Eligible nonprofits can purchase Microsoft Office, Windows, Windows Server, and Norton AntiVirus at up to 90 percent off the retail cost. A nominal administrative fee is applied to each product. Learn more at A Quick Guide to Discounted Software Programs.
- Good 360 (Formerly Gifts in Kind) provides software donations from Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft, Intuit, Lotus, PowerQuest and Symantec (cost is around $30). Some donations require that you join Gifts in Kind ($125 per year) while others require no membership (i.e. Adobe).
- Consistent Computer Bargains, Inc. provides discounts on many software titles to nonprofit organizations. Consistent Computer Bargains works with several software publishers including Adobe, Corel, Lotus, Macromedia, McAfee, Microsoft. CCB has also secured special pricing with Acer, IBM, and HP for hardware discounts.
Microsoft software donations are made in response to the requests of individual nonprofits to meet their organizational needs. The process for requesting a software donation depends on the location of your organization. Be sure to check the most current Microsoft Eligibility Requirements.
- TechSoup - Microsoft Program - All Microsoft software donation requests within the United States and Canada are handled by the Microsoft nonprofit partner TechSoup. There is no membership fee for access to TechSoup, but a small administrative fee from TechSoup will apply to each order to help offset the organization's costs.
- Microsoft Open License Charity Program - For nonprofit organizations that do not meet the Microsoft or TechSoup eligibility guidelines and for organizations that need to request additional software. This program enables nonprofit organizations to purchase Microsoft software and licenses at a substantially reduced cost; it is available in several countries worldwide.
Check out the next section of the toolkit: Customizing: What Does Your System Need to Do?