Large EMR Vendor Bias Towards EMR Stimulus

One thing I’m starting to notice is that it seems that ALL of the large EMR vendors are strong proponents of the EMR stimulus. All but a couple of the comments I’ve found from large EMR vendors laud praise upon the HITECH act. Listening to the information they’re putting out, you’d think that this was a fantastic stimulus package that will just be too good to pass up.

Now, I’m not saying that what these EMR vendors are saying is a lie (although some of the things they’ve said are). What I am saying is take a look at what motivation an EMR vendor has to do anything but prop up the EMR stimulus package. As far as I can see, there’s little benefit to their EMR business to talk poorly about the EMR stimulus. EMR vendors want people to think that the EMR stimulus is simple, effective and incredibly well done. If this were the case, many doctors should and would be all over it and EMR vendors would see increased sales. If EMR vendors were to describe it as complicated, ineffective and poorly defined, then that means fewer sales for those EMR vendors.

My point here isn’t to argue whether the EMR stimulus is good or not. It’s just to highlight that EMR vendors are (and probably should be) biased in their opinions of the EMR stimulus package.

Interestingly, a few smaller EMR vendors have made the opposite case. They’ve come out that the EMR stimulus is an atrocity, does little to improve doctors’ productivity and often hurts productivity.

The battle lines have been drawn. Just make sure you’re not a casualty of biased information.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, 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,, 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.


  • Unfortunately, the current administration has been promoting “corporatism”. According to Wikipedia, political scientists use this term to describe a practice whereby a state, through the process of licensing and regulating officially-incorporated social, religious, economic, or popular organizations. This effectively co-opts their leadership or circumscribes their ability to challenge state authority by establishing the state as the source of their legitimacy, as well as sometimes running them, either directly or indirectly through [usually very large] corporations.

    So large insurance and pharmaceutical companies were persuaded to go along with Obamacare, while GE and other mega-corporations favor Cap-and-Trade energy taxes. Likewise, large companies can weather the voluminous paperwork mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley, but such overhead can ruin small companies. The same principle applies to EMR vendors as regards to Stimulus incentives.

  • Of course the big EHR vendors are all for the ARRA HITECH incentive plan. They are the sole real winners.

    They stand to get most of the ARRA incentive funds while small EHR providers get squeezed out and will lose out developing the client base who can afford an un-incentivized acquisition.

    Big EHR developers were involved with the ARRA drafters ensuring the penalty phase was written into the bill’s language … “restore science to its rightful place” … not because it was a good thing for providers to implement an EHR … but in order to get a partial return on the cost and to avoid being penalized by losing future reimbursements.

    The sole winner of the ARRA’s HITECH are the major EHR vendors.

    (OT: John… will you post the results of the Medscape EHR/EMR survey I sent you last week?)

  • Others here may have a different perspective… but was I the only one who was VERY unimpressed with the $18bil in the ARRA for incentizing EHR implementation and meaningful use?

    Way I figure it the large health care organizations (Mayo, Baylor, Intermountain, etc) will suck up that $18bil long before Dr. Welby and his staff jump through all the hoops they will need to jump through before proving meaningful use.

    Remember this incentivization plan was brought to you by the same dudes that brought us Cash for Clunkers.

  • DBerry,
    Sorry. Life’s been busy and so I haven’t had time to look through the Medscape EHR/EMR survey, but it’s still on my list of things to look at. So, sooner or later I will.

  • Thanks John. Know you will. I think the topic line about the role of managed care IT provider is a very important one. Don’t want to take the brains off of it right now to digest the Medscape survey.

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