Incentives to Using Electronic Health Records in Physician Practices

Recently, our Maryland Medical Mistake Lawyers wrote about the use of electronic health records in hospitals and doctors’ offices, and how computerized health records have the potential to improve the health care of patients, and reduce the risk of medical errors and personal injury.

In the blog, our pharmacy error attorneys wrote about how President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus included over $19 billion for health information technology, and has given many hospitals great incentive to add their own funds and invest in adopting electronic records to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of health and medical care.

One example of this comes from an article in the New England Journal of Medicine from last month, where the Long Island North Shore Hospital System in New York stated publicly that it will pay an up to $40,000 incentive offer to each doctor who agrees go electronic with health records—paying 50 percent of the total cost to doctors who install the Electronic Health Record that will communicate directly with the hospital, and will pay 85 percent of the total cost if the doctor shares quality care data.

The payment would reportedly add to the $44,000 physician incentive offer, where the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 gave authority to Medicare to compensate health care professionals eligible for the payment, who used electronic health records in a meaningful way. According to the article, ‘meaningful use” is not yet clear in definition, but the overall aim is to transform the health care delivery system by using electronic records, to improve communication, efficiency, and quality care and reduce the risk of personal injury through medical mistakes or pharmacy error.

Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers represent victims of medication mistakes in Maryland or the Washington, D.C. area. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.

Accelerating the Use of Electronic Health Records in Physician Practices, New England Journal of Medicine, January 21, 2010

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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