Report: Move to electronic health records may be increasing costs - Mobile World Live

Report: Move to electronic health records may be increasing costs

24 SEP 2012

A report in The New York Times says the move to electronic health records in the US, which was supposed to increase cost efficiency, may actually have added billions of dollars to bills for Medicare, private health insurers and patients because it’s become easier for doctors and hospitals to charge more for their services, regardless of whether they actually provide additional care.

Hospitals that received government incentives to install electronic health records saw a 47 percent rise in Medicare payments at higher levels from 2006 to 2010, the latest year for which data is available, compared to a 32 percent rise among hospitals that did not receive government incentives, according to the newspaper’s analysis.

Some experts say a large part of the increased payments are due to the increasing use of electronic record systems which can automatically generate patient histories, or allow doctors to copy and paste the same findings for multiple patients, known as cloning, just by swiping their finger on an iPad, says the story. The impression given by such manipulation of electronic systems is that doctors have carried out a more thorough analysis than they actually did.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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