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Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Are Driving Up Health Care Costs, Not Reducing Costs

09.25.12

The federal plan was that the use of EHRs would reduce health care costs, improve efficiency, and patient safety, however after spending more than $19 billion dollars on EHRs apparently health care costs have increased. Not everyone thought the increased use of EHRs would help, in 2009 a report in the New York Times indicated that:

…two experts in health information technology at Children’s Hospital Boston assert that spending billions of dollars of federal funds to stimulate the adoption of existing forms of health record software would be a costly policy mistake

Now in September 2012 an updated story on EHRs in the  New York Times report indicates:

...in reality, the move to electronic health records may be contributing to billions of dollars in higher costs for Medicare, private insurers and patients by making it easier for hospitals and physicians to bill more for their services, whether or not they provide additional care.

It seems likely health care costs will only continue, so increased investment in EHR has not been the panacea that was predicted by the federal government.
 

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