Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Economic Advantage????

This news from iHealthbeat:

Do we have a choice about EHR?


October 17, 2007

Boston Health Network Requires All Physicians To Adopt EHRs by 2009

Partners HealthCare System in Boston is requiring all of the physicians in its network to adopt or agree to adopt electronic health records by Jan. 1, 2008, or else they will be removed from the network, Tom Lee, CEO of Partners Community HealthCare, said, Modern Healthcare reports.
Partners expects to lose between 15 and 20 primary care physicians this year because of the mandate, and it could lose some patients if those physicians stop referring patients to Partners hospitals, Lee said.
To retain their network status, about 5,000 physicians in the network will be required to adopt either Partners' or GE Healthcare's EHR or sign an agreement that they will adopt EHRs during 2008. However, by Jan. 1, 2009, any physician without a connection to the network EHR system will be removed from the network.
Mario Motta, a cardiologist in the network, said the mandate is a "two-edged sword" because the benefit of EHRs is higher reimbursement rates from insurers, although Partners is not providing any funds to help physicians adopt the systems.
Lee added that funds are available to improve Partners' EHR system and to train physicians on it (DerGurahian, Modern Healthcare, 10/15).

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