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Rather Pay Than Install EHR

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By Allan Holmes September 23, 2010

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A lot of work went into the development of meaningful use standards -- those requirements that an electronic health record system has to do to be considered a bona fide electronic health record system.

But the federal government has some work to do to inform physicians that the standards exist and that there are serious financial repercussions for not following them, according to a recent survey conducted by Physicians' Reciprocal Insurers in Long Island, N.Y. Healthcare IT News reports:

While 85 percent of physicians were aware of the financial incentives for implementing the systems, more than 35 percent did not know that they face government-assessed financial penalties for not complying beginning in January 2015.

Maybe more disturbing, was the finding that of the two-thirds of doctors who were unaware of the financial penalties, more than 65 percent - once they were informed that they faced costs equal to a 1 percent reduction of their annual Medicare payments per year up to 5 percent -- said that fact would not make them purchase an EHR system.

That works out to about 20 percent of all doctors not willing, despite financial loss, to install an EHR system, making it more difficult for the Obama administration to meet its goal of having a large majority of Americans in possession of an electronic health record by 2015.

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