Quote of the Day:
Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.
--C. Archie Danielson
MGMA: Many Physician Groups Not Yet Ready To Invest in EHRs
Many physician group practices are likely to delay electronic health record adoption because of logistical and financial concerns, experts said this week at the Medical Group Management Association's annual convention, Healthcare IT News reports.
MGMA represents 22,500 medical group administrators and managers from across the country.
Robert Tennant, senior policy adviser for MGMA, said most of the physician practices MGMA represents will not qualify by 2011 for incentive payments under the federal economic stimulus package.
Under the stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate "meaningful use" of EHRs will qualify for incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid. However, the federal government has yet to issue a final definition for meaningful use.
William Jessee, CEO of MGMA, said many physician practices experienced declining revenue in 2008. He noted that nearly 37% of MGMA members have said they are postponing capital expenditures, which could include EHR adoption (Healthcare IT News, 10/13).
Moreover, many physician groups are concerned that the federal government will reduce Medicare payment rates this year under its sustainable growth rate formula, Jessee said.
He added that uncertainty about the rate reductions is leading many medical groups to delay EHR implementation (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 10/13).
It seems as if many physicians are reticent to spend money they do not have. (unlike our federal government). Despite all the rhetoric and politically incorrect statements about how much HEALTH IT will save, the government programs will have physicians lay out the funds to start up the HIT transition and will only receive grants if they can prove they are using EMR effectively (meaningfully) and according to a standard which has yet to be defined by them. The deadline is 2011 for implementation. This is less than one year from the probably final passage of any health reform bill. Although the original stimulus funding took place several months ago, the reality of these funds filtering down to the medical community will take at least another 12 months, based upon previous experience with ARRA and other stimulus packages.