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Stimulus Plan Will Stimulate EMR Adoption, CBO says

According to a recent report from McKinsey, congress.jpgthe US Congressional Budget Office (or CBO, always described by the media as “non-partisan”) predicts that the stimulus incentives for EMR adoption will have a significant effect on medical practices in this regard, as compared to projections without the incentives.

Part of this is due to the fact that the incentives, which may amount to as much as $44,000 per physician, would more than cover installation costs of an EMR system, particularly for web-based type systems. These systems, known as ASP (application service provider) or SaaS (software as a service), generally incur less up-front costs since they do not require on-site hosting servers and their associated infrastructure but rather reside on the vendor’s servers.

The CBO also predicts that adoption rates under the stimulus incentives will climb to 90 percent by the year 2019. The slice of the stimulus pie earmarked for healthcare IT is $40 billion. And while physicians will realize many benefits from the use of EMR, the main beneficiaries are expected to be medical payers, since the expected decrease in both healthcare costs and medical errors will improve profitability.

McKinsey expects hospitals and physicians to spend about $170 billion on EMR over the next ten years. This is good news for information technology vendors and medical equipment manufacturers. So, rest well, knowing that the money you spend on your EMR system will not only help insurance companies keep a better eye on you but will also be good for their bottom line.

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