Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is the WTxHITREC?

WTxHITREC is the West Texas Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center. WTxHITREC has been established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide education, outreach, and technical expertise to West Texas priority primary care providers (PPCPs), in the 108 western counties of Texas, to assist them in selecting, implementing, and achieving meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) products.

WTxHITREC is a federally funded program of the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health - Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. WTxHITREC is one of four Regional Extension Centers funded to serve Texas.

At the present time, WTxHITREC is working to enroll and serve providers and hospitals through the health care provider and hospital service line. In addition, the WTxHITREC now has the ability to offer the Medicaid Physician Specialist Program to those who are eligible.

2. What will WTxHITREC do?

As a designated federal Regional Extension Center, WTxHITREC will offer education, technical assistance, guidance, and information on best practices to support and accelerate health care centers’ and providers’ efforts to become meaningful users of certified electronic health record (EHR) systems. WTxHITREC will use its HIT/EHR knowledge and experience to work with practices and hospitals to offer technical expertise in managing relationships with vendors, share knowledge of software implementation, provide an understanding of work-flow change and quality improvement methods, support the achievement of Meaningful Use, and help obtain Medicare/Medicare Incentive payments.

Among the services and benefits that will be provided by WTxHITREC are:

  • Improve patient safety and quality of care
  • Easily navigate the EHR vendor marketplace, utilize EHR market analysis, confirm vendor Certification
  • Achieve EHR meaningful use objectives to maximize incentives and minimize financial and administrative burdens
  • Navigate the incentive process to help secure payment
  • Utilize EHR’s in a meaningful way so patient information is available when and where it is needed
  • Access to the collective intelligence of Regional Extension Centers across the country, and
  • Prepare for future pay for performance programs
  • Practice management solutions

3. Who will be served by the efforts and activities of WTxHITREC?

WTxHITREC will serve health care providers, organizations, and hospitals located in the 108 most-western counties of Texas.

4. What are the benefits of being a WTxHITREC member?

WTxHITREC membership provides access to educational resources, as well as, to the direct technical assistance and customized services to provide value and support through the adoption of EHRs and practice management solutions.

  • Improve practice efficiency
  • Improve patient care
  • Qualify for financial incentives
  • Maximize revenue
  • Increase the quality of work/life balance for health care providers
  • Receive federally recognized support unique to West Texas providers

5. What is "meaningful use?"

This is the term being used by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to describe the criteria eligible providers must meet to qualify for to receive financial incentives for using electronic health records (EHRs) in meaningful manner.

6. What is this federal incentive program for the implementation of electronic records?

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is authorized to provide a reimbursement incentive for eligible Medicare and Medicaid providers (physician and hospital providers) who are successful in implementing electronic health records and achieving “meaningful use”, as defined by the U.S. DHHS. These incentive payments will begin in 2011 and gradually phase down. Starting in 2015, providers are expected to have adopted and be actively utilizing an EHR in compliance with the “meaningful use” definition or they will be subject to financial penalties under Medicare.

Stimulus funding for participating practices who implement EHRs will range from a maximum of $44,000 per eligible provider over five years under Medicare or $63,750 maximum under Medicaid. Again, these funds will be available to eligible providers who acquire a certified EHR and its data. WTxHITREC will be available to assist eligible providers in meeting these goals.

7. What should I do if I am interested in learning more about what WTxHITREC provides?

Call: 806-743-7960 or Email: