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Bribing Doctors Towards EMR

Free computers not enough to convince doctors of investing in EMR

An article in Information Week described an attempt by WellPoint Health Networks Inc. to encourage its physicians to switch to electronic records or prescriptions by giving them a total of $42 million worth of PDAs and PCs. Alas, about one in four of the doctors did not take the offer. And only about 10% of the group bothered to use the PDAs for ePrescriptions.The federal government has proposed a plan to have a national health IT infrastructure supporting electronic health records for most Americans within a decade. Dr. David Brailer, the government’s first health IT czar, says that it is critical for small and solo practices to adopt EMR otherwise the plan is doomed to failure.One major reason cited for resistance by physicians is the ongoing cost of IT support for EMR in a medical practice. Not only is there no reimbursement to doctors for the capital investment for EMR systems, but physicians must also add IT support to their practice overhead, with no tangible return on investment in the foreseeable future.

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