The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Minority Health and Quest Diagnostics, based in Madison, N.J., today announced a program through which Quest Diagnostics will donate electronic health record (EHR) software and services to physicians in small practices serving minority populations in Houston, Texas.
The initiative is intended to foster broader adoption and use of EHRs and support national efforts to reduce health disparities affecting minorities.
Quest Diagnostics and its subsidiary, MedPlus, will donate approximately 75 EHR licenses, including subscription fees, for 12 months and will help integrate the necessary information technology components within participating physician practices. It will collaborate with the federally-funded Regional Extension Center (REC) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston on staff education and training. RECs are funded under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the Recovery Act of 2009.
Data from the 2005-2006 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medicare Care Survey show that EHR adoption is lower among providers serving Hispanic patients who are uninsured or rely on Medicaid, and is lower among providers serving uninsured, non-Hispanic black patients than among providers serving privately insured, non-Hispanic white patients.