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Money motivates EHR adoption

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator released a data brief in December addressing what motivates physicians to implement electronic health records (EHR) and the answer is … money. The data briefing reveals that financial incentives and reimbursement are currently the top reasons physicians decide to implement EHR.

Physicians are eligible for financial incentives through the meaningful use program if they meet specific requirements for EHR systems.

Related reading: “Meaningful use” can safeguard big money for your practice  

Physician reimbursement can also be affected by EHR. For example, under the 2015 Physician Fee Schedule, physician payment for chronic care management can depend on use of certified EHR technology.

Related reading: CMS Medicare physician fee schedule for 2015 Final Rule released  

CMS is requiring that providers seeking chronic care management (CCM) reimbursement “must at least electronically capture care plan information” and make it available 24/7 to all practitioners in a practice who provide CCM services and whose time counts toward the time requirement for billing the CCM code. They must also share care plan information electronically with others providing care to the patient. has released a tool to help physicians estimate monthly and annual reimbursement based on the number of chronic care management patients.

Another top factor was board certification. Some state medical licensing boards are making electronic health record (EHR) adoption a factor in licensing. For example, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine just approved regulations that will implement a state law licensure requirement that physicians demonstrate proficiency in use of electronic health records, subject to some exceptions.

Finally, the list of motivations influencing EHR adoption also includes the fact that trusted colleagues were adopting it and the ability to share information with other providers. Before HITECH and the implementation of the meaningful use incentive program, sharing information with other providers was the top factor motivating adoption of EHR.

Physicians in large group and multispecialty practices were found most likely to have adopted or be willing to adopt EHR. On the other hand, physicians least likely to adopt are surgeons and retiring, solo and small group practitioners. Those who haven’t adopted yet and don’t have plans to adopt EHR cite lack of resources (financial, staff and time) as the main reason, followed by privacy and security concerns.

It’s clear from the survey that finances and the bottom line greatly affect adoption of EHR —whether it be financial incentives or reimbursement as reason for adoption or costs being a deterrent.

Sources: Dawn Heisey-Grove MPH & Vaishali Patel PhD, Physician Motivations for Adoption of Electronic Health Records, HHS ONC Data Brief, No. 21, Dec. 2014: Click here to view Dashboard (Containing CCM calculation tool): Click here to view resources and data: Click here to view

Massachusetts Medical Society link to regulations: Click here to view









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