As part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act passed in 2009, physicians can receive up to $44,000 in tax incentives for implementing Electronic Medical Records (EMR) by the year 2015.  If a physician’s practice hasn’t implemented EMR by 2015 they will begin to incur tax penalties until they comply with the HITECH Act and complete EMR implementation.

Needless to say, with the amount of incentives driving EMR adoption, the demand for Healthcare IT (HIT) professionals is rapidly increasing.  In fact, some estimate the implementation of EMR nation-wide will require up to 55,000 additional trained Healthcare IT professionals.  Better yet, SimplyHired.com reports the average salary of a Health IT professional to be $61,000/yr.  While earnings potential will vary based on location, individual experience, training, and background it’s still a very encouraging figure.

The only problem is EMR implementation and Healthcare IT require a very specialized skillset.  Luckily, Cincinnati’s very own Cincinnati State Technical and Community College has access to a federal grant program that subsidizes most of the training costs for certification in Healthcare IT.  Over the course of six months, program participants will complete online coursework that will prepare them to take on one of the six specialized roles in the EMR implementation process.  The course is facilitator-guided and 100% online, requiring no classroom attendance.  Upon course completion participants will receive 15 credit hours as well as a certificate of completion.

Applicants to the program should already have experience in either the IT or healthcare fields when applying.  The program has a cost of $1500 but the federal government has subsidized $1250 of that cost, making the program cost only $250 for each participant, plus a $60 fee for the required background check.

The program closes at the end of the month so don’t delay in applying.  I spoke to Delrae McNeill, the program manager, yesterday and there were still seats available.  For more information or to begin the application process please visit the Cincinnati State Healthcare Information Technology Training page.  If you have questions that are not answered on the previous page please feel free to contact Delrae directly:

Delrae McNeill
Program Manager – HIT
delrae.mcneill@cincinnatistate.edu
513-569-5731 Ph.
513-569-1801 Fax