Implement EMR for the Right Reason, Not the Dangling Carrot

I’m really glad that the chorus of people singing the tune I’ve been singing is starting to swell. Here’s some comments from Barbara Hales of The Write Treatment talking about the right way to implement an EMR and the problems with the EMR stimulus carrot approach:

I agree with you that EMRs should be implemented because it is the right thing to do,not because of the incentives. The government incentive is a dangling carrot.

Money promised for implementation comes by way of increased Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements by 1-2% from each claim. Talks of slashing Medicare reimbursements by 21% came soon after. So after investing money and time in a system, you are going to get….what was that?

This was considered by the government when they issued the proposal that rather than getting money, reimbursements would be taken away as a penalty for failure to comply as of 2014.

Clever. Not only will they not have to dish out much money, now they will be getting money ( in the sense that services will not cost as much)

Now consider the physicians that do not have a large percentage of patients that participate in theses Medicare and Medicaid programs. They too, will not be seeing any government subsidy for implementation.

Yes, get the system because of increased efficiency or because you can achieve more with it, like any piece of medical equipment. If it is for the subsidy, don’t hold your breath!

Nicely said Barbara!!

P.S. I think the thing that EMR and HIPAA needs is a pretty face like Barbara’s to put on the site. They have some over on the Healthcare blog and HISTalk has Inga. Maybe a pretty female face is what’s really missing from EMR and HIPAA.

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.


  • Glad to see someone advocating the right fit as opposed to the “required” fit as well. Hopefully many will take that advice.

    If you really want just a pretty face, you could always try creating one (maybe to go with that new design?)

  • Barbara, I absolutely agree. Emr should be implemented to improve clinical outcomes and enhance continuity of care etc. EMR adoption driven by incentives or fear of future penalties are not necessarily built on a strong foundation. This also increases the likelihood of implementation failure.

  • Michelle,
    I’m not sure I’d even be pretty as a cartoon. Takes a pretty face to start with to make the cartoon pretty too;-)

  • The only problem is people only get serious about something is when sources of income is threatened. When these offices need to move into the 21st century who is going to help them the large software companies or the government?? What we are missing is a place for these small practices to get the information they need, instead of being pushed by all sides.

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