Misaligned EMR Incentives Not New

I’ve been writing for quite a while about the issue with EMR adoption being that the incentives to adopt an EMR are really misaligned. The more I post to this website about EMR, the clearer it becomes that the EMR adoption incentives still need a lot of work.

Sadly, today I was looking through some of my 159 draft posts (basically ideas for future articles on this site) and I came across a link to another EMR blogger from December 2007. In that post, he quotes a paper published in JAMIA 2005 that makes the following point:

Misaligned incentives. Simply, the people being expected to pay for EHR systems are the ones gaining the smallest percentage of pay back. payors and employers have by far the most incentive to see EHRs implemented.

I’m sure many in the industry already knew this, but I think it’s unfortunate that 4 years later we still have the same incentive problem with EMR adoption. It will be interesting to see how ARRA and the EMR stimulus money will impact this situation.

As a side note, it seems like the blogger that posted this back in 2007 is working on some pretty interesting projects related to hospital report cards and other hospital data extraction.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

1 Comment

  • Hi,
    It was really good post lot of useful information. On the point of usability and defining the term ‘meaningful use’, I would add further that the medical practitioners are looking to avail of this federal incentive by trying to comply with the definition of meaningful use but at the same time EHR providers are looking at their own set of profits.
    This misunderstanding is mostly I believe as a result of wrong interpretation of the federal guidelines. The EHR providers need to look at these guidelines from the prospective of the practitioners who deal with different specialties.
    Each specialty EHR has its own set of challenges or requirements which I believe is overlooked by im most EHR vendors in a effort to merely follows federal guidelines. This is resulting in low usability to the practitioners, thus less ROI, finally redundancy of the EHR solution in place.
    I think ROI is very important factor that should be duly considered when look achieve a ‘meaning use’ out of a EHR solution. Though one may get vendors providing ‘meaning use’ at a lower cost, their ROI / savings through the use of their EHR might be pretty low when compared to costlier initial investment.

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