RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—VSP Global has introduced the Healthcare Technology Program, an exclusive offering for VSP doctors through Eyefinity/OfficeMate which provides ExamWriter electronic medical records (EMRs) at no initial software license charge for existing OfficeMate or OfficeMate Enterprise users, or the OfficeMate Suite or OfficeMate Enterprise with ExamWriter for first-time users at no initial software licensing charge.

The program, available through Sept. 30, is designed to help position VSP doctors to seek federal incentive payments through the HITECH Act, which encourages the adoption of EMRs throughout healthcare, including eyecare.

VSP doctors can take part in the offer and are only responsible to pay for the software license if they receive federal incentive payments beginning in 2011, noted Jim McGrann, Eyefinity/OfficeMate president, who told VM that the program can be worth upwards of several thousand dollars to practices. Other fees for the software do apply, including annual support and maintenance, data conversion and onsite training.

“The Healthcare Technology Program enables VSP doctors a way to stay ahead of the health information technology curve,” said McGrann. “ExamWriter’s integrated e-prescribing function and Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) function it shares with OfficeMate are critical elements of health information technology which will help position ECPs to take advantage of the federal stimulus money available to them.”

The HITECH Act, a health information technology component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed by President Barack Obama in February, has appropriated $19.2 billion in federal stimulus funds to accelerate the adoption of certified EMRs. Physicians who demonstrate “meaningful use” of EMRs, which policymakers are currently working to define, can qualify for up to $64,000 in incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid.

Today, McGrann estimates, approximately 80 percent of OfficeMate users are VSP doctors: “For the 26,000 VSP doctors nationwide, we believe EMRs can help them grow their practice, enable more of them to practice a medical model of optometry and we believe this new program can help them get that accomplished.”