IBM Global Financing Lends a Hand on Electronic Medical Records

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

A vexing problem for the channel has been finding channel-friendly electronic medical record (EMR) vendors, and another problem has been finding the financing to make deals happen before clients get reimbursed with economic stimulus funds. Enter IBM Global Financing.

One of the biggest challenges for channel partners looking to help customers take advantage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – also known as the economic stimulus package – has been to find EMR vendors who work with the channel.

There’s also been a gap between when the solutions must be implemented and when the funding is available. IBM Global Financing is seeking to help.

Looking to bridge the gap between billions of dollars in spending earmarked for electronic medical records (EMR) and the timeline for reimbursements for the recipients, IBM Global Financing has struck a deal with four EMR providers.
IGF will work with Siemens Healthcare, Lavender & Wyatt Systems Inc., Healthcare Management Systems and SCC Soft Computer to provide competitive-rate financing for client-hospitals, labs and medical practices, according to the finance arm of IBM.

"Customers of electronic health care records solutions soon realize that while health IT technology is necessary, it’s also expensive," said Richard Dicks, general manager for North America, IBM Global Financing, in a statement.

"Costs have today become a non-technological barrier to health IT adoption. It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario facing medical providers," he said. "Many are waiting for government funding working its way through the system, but need the benefits of the technology today. Technology financing helps speed up implementation in a more cost-effective manner."

IT analyst firm Ovum said it expects more health IT companies to add financing to their go-to-market strategies since it helps customers manage costs and accelerate deployment in advance of the deadlines set by the U.S. government. Today, IBM provides thousands of health care clients and partners with technology hardware, middleware and services that accompany EMR applications.

"Even at the niche level, financing is key," said Brad Feller, president, Lavender and Wyatt Systems, in a statement. "Many of our clients have seen reduced funding from public and private sources, but still understand the need to start implementing solutions today."

The company provides an IGF quote with every proposal that includes projected monthly payments to make it easier for customers to act now and get a step up on the benefits gained by EMRs, according to IGF and Lavender and Wyatt.



Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com