The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) threw in a financial incentive for eligible healthcare professionals and hospitals that jump on the EHR technology train.
Participation is voluntary – for now.
Healthcare professionals and hospitals that do not join the program by 2015 will experience an escalating reduction (from 1 percent to 3 percent) in Medicare reimbursements.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) established the parameters for meaningful use of EHRs that qualify healthcare providers for incentive payments.
Despite the increasing number of incentive payments, recent studies report the paper trail remains a popular course.
Worse Than Paper?
Rand Corporation conducted a study, sponsored by the American Medical Association.
Doctors responding to the survey recognize the value of electronic records. However, they think the current situation is not working as well as it should.
- Converting to electronic records increased workloads
- The extra work cut down on doctor-patient time
- The cost has been higher than anticipated
IDC Health Insights revealed 62 percent of healthcare workers said paper volume either increased or remained flat over the past year.
IDC’s research also disclosed the following.
Evolving models of health care rely on the collaboration of several providers. Electronic health records certainly provide the benefit of instant access to shared data. However, as we all know, the information is only as good as the paper (or database) it’s written on.
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Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.