Report: hospitals and vendors, not government, will drive EHR usage

January 14, 2010
Ron Rajecki

The federal government can encourage physicians to buy electronic health record systems, but it is the vendors and hospitals that affiliate with doctors that ultimately will determine whether they adopt them, according to a new report from healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information.

The federal government can encourage physicians to buy electronic health record (EHR) systems, but it is the vendors and hospitals that affiliate with doctors that ultimately will determine whether they adopt them, according to a new report from healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information.

The announcement of government incentives of up to $44,000 in increased Medicare payments to doctors for the meaningful use of EHR has created interest, according to Kalorama’s report, EMR [EHR] 2010 (Market Analysis, ARRA Incentives, Key Players, and Important Trends), but these incentives represent future payouts for EHR systems that physicians have to pay for now.

“We think that hospitals and large health systems will need to have parallel incentives in order for the [EHR] concept to happen in a meaningful way,” Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information, said in a prepared statement.

Vendor actions such as “stimulus guarantees,” in which a vendor assures a customer that the system will earn stimulus incentives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, enhance the effects of government incentives, according to the report. Kalorama Information expects vendors to go further, offering aggressive financing and/or installment of the capital outlay, especially to attract small group practices.

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