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Rural Physician Bus Tour makes a stop at Effingham Health System
0701 hospital bus tour
The Effingham Health System was one of seven stops on the Rural Physician Bus Tour. - photo by Photo provided

Effingham Health System hosted physicians, health care organization representatives and health information technology experts June 25 during a Rural Physician Bus Tour, an event designed to provide information and technical assistance on the Meaningful Use Attestation process.

The event that included more than 20 officials from Atlanta provided information to rural providers seeking assistance with Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive program payments, provider enrollments and reimbursement issues.

The tour was organized by HomeTown Health, an organization dedicated to preserving and supporting rural health care facilities.HomeTown Health Managing Director Kathy Whitmire helped coordinate the event.

“We are happy to be part of this effort to bring a team of technical health IT resources out of Atlanta, into rural Georgia, and to the physicians that support our organization’s 55 rural hospitals,” she said. “We hope it will be the first of several tours just like this.”

“The driving force of the bus tour is the urgent need to provide rural physicians with the technical assistance needed to meet the Meaningful Use Attestation process required to receive their Medicaid Incentive funds,” said Effingham Health System CEO Norma Jean Morgan. “Equally important is the need to raise physician awareness on secure messaging and the health information exchange that plays such a vital role in coordinated care and improved outcomes for their patients. Education about the Medicaid Incentive Program, Direct Messaging, Health Information Exchange, and the upcoming transition to ICD-10, was shared with our participants. We are pleased to serve as a partner in this effort.”

Other stops on the bus tour included Upson Regional in Thomaston, Taylor Health System in Hawkinsville, Dodge County in Eastman, Dorminy Medical Center in Fitzgerald, Appling Hospital in Baxley, and Emanuel County in Swainsboro. Visiting technical support was provided by Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center, HP-Medicaid, Georgia Department of Community Health, Georgia Health Information Network and HomeTown Health.

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