Wednesday, September 19, 2012

EMR Fail

An OpEd in the 9/17/2012 Wall Street Journal notes, "A Major Glitch for Digitized Health-Care Records".

In particular:
In two years, hundreds of thousands of American physicians and thousands of hospitals that fail to buy and install costly health-care information technologies—such as digital records for prescriptions and patient histories—will face penalties through reduced Medicare and Medicaid payments. At the same time, the government expects to pay out tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and incentives to providers who install these technology programs.

The mandate, part of the 2009 stimulus legislation, was a major goal of health-care information technology lobbyists and their allies in Congress and the White House. The lobbyists promised that these technologies would make medical administration more efficient and lower medical costs by up to $100 billion annually. Many doctors and health-care administrators are wary of such claims—a wariness based on their own experience. An extensive new study indicates that the caution is justified: The savings turn out to be chimerical.
Bottom line: "The savings claimed by government agencies and vendors of health IT are little more than hype."

(Via Dr. Richard Amerling.)