EMR Financing

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EHR Software Costs and Financing Options

From software licensing and installation to hardware upgrades and training, implementing an EHR system can require a significant investment – and understandably, not all healthcare organizations have the resources to make that kind of investment upfront.

Even though the HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) stipulates that healthcare providers can qualify for more than $60,000 in federal money by adopting a certified EHR system, providers aren't eligible to receive that money until after they have attested to meaningful use. This means that, while the stimulus money can be viewed as a type of refund, rewarding healthcare professionals for having implemented an electronic health record solution, physicians still need to have the money to adopt an EHR in the first place.

What are my options if I can't afford to take on the full cost of an EHR on my own?

Many physicians who do not have the liquid assets to cover the upfront costs of installing an EHR choose finance some or all of the costs involved in the EHR implementation. The most common method of financing offered by EHR vendors is leasing, which requires little or no upfront investment and allows physician to make monthly payments within their budget.

Vendors can offer one or all of the following types of leases.

  • Finance Leases allow physicians to make monthly installments for a set period of time, which is specified in the lease agreement. Once the lease is over, the physician can choose to purchase the EHR, return it to the vendor, or negotiate terms to extend the lease.
  • True Leases are similar to renting an apartment. The physician pays a monthly fee to use the EHR but will never have the option to own it – he's just renting the software. The benefit is that payments are typically lower than with finance leases.
  • Operating Leases are short-term leases that are usually used for technological equipment that can wear down or become obsolete over time. If you are considering leasing a server or other computer equipment, this is likely the type of lease your EHR vendor will offer.

To find out which leasing arrangement your practice will benefit from most, contact us to speak with one of our EHR specialists.

What are the benefits of leasing?

Physicians who choose to lease their EHR benefit from an easy application process, fast approval and manageable payment plans. Here are some of the other reasons why leasing is a great option for healthcare professionals who want to adopt an EHR but don't have the resources to do so.

  • Complete financing of all EHR costs. When you implement an EHR, the software is not your only concern. There are other costs involved as well, and many of them are not included in the price of the EHR. This includes upgrading hardware, buying new computers, and even purchasing training hours for physicians and staff. Vendors who offer leasing will often bundle all of these costs into one manageable monthly fee.
  • Preserve other credit lines. Implementing an EHR in your practice can be a great investment, as long as it doesn't affect yours or your practice's finances. Instead of using your savings or credit cards to finance the purchase of the software system, it is better to consider leasing. This will ensure that your assets are not tied up in the EHR.
  • Receive tax benefits. The IRS sees most leases as tax-deductible expenses. You will want to verify this with your accountant, but when filing taxes you will likely be able to deduct any lease payments made from income earned.
  • Don't pay extra for upgrades. When you lease an EHR, upgrades are typically covered under the monthly installments, so you don't have to worry about getting stuck with an older version of the software. If you choose to lease computer equipment as well, you know you won't be getting stuck with hardware that is obsolete.

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about the leasing options available through 1st Providers Choice? Contact us today to talk to one of our EHR specialists. We'll work with you to come up with an agreeable lease agreement, guide you through the implementation, and answer any questions you have throughout the process.

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