Federal bill would provide deferred-payment loans for EHRs

September 4, 2009

A deferred-payment loan of up to $315,000 for solo physicians to purchase electronic health record systems may soon be available from the Small Business Administration.

A deferred-payment loan of up to $315,000 for solo physicians to purchase electronic health record systems may soon be available from the Small Business Administration, if Congress and the President approve a bill in favor of it.

A House subcommittee held hearings in July on the Small Business Health Information Technology Financing Act, which would allow practices or physicians to defer payments on the loan for up to three years. Groups could take out loans of up to $1.8 million, according to the bill.

"The upfront loan would knock down the biggest barrier [to EHR adoption], which is the cost," says Ted Epperly, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, which endorses the legislation.