Physicians May Lose Money after Adopting EHRs
Most physicians will lose money in the first five years following electronic health record (EHR) implementation, according to a new study published in Health Affairs.
The average physician lost 43,743 dollars over those first five years, according to the study. Only 27 percent of the physicians surveyed in the study had a positive return on investment during that time. That number increased to 41 percent, however, if the physicians received a 44,000 dollar payment from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program.
For those physicians that did demonstrate a positive return on investment, revenue incased by an average of over 114,000 dollars per physician. The physicians who did not demonstrate a positive return also increased revenue at a lower rate of 9,200 dollars per physician.
Study researchers surveyed 49 MA-based physician practices who implemented EHR systems as part of a pilot program, according to Medscape.
Researchers concluded that the current meaningful use incentive payments may not be sufficient to ensure a positive return for physicians following EHR adoption. “Policies that provide additional support, such as expanding the regional extension center program, could help ensure that practices make the changes required to realize a positive return on investment from EHRs,” the researchers wrote.