In July, the National Center for Health Statistics came out with a report about EHR adoption in 2011.
Then, the Government Accountability Office released a report to Congress in July, 2012 about the percentage of physicians who were awarded Medicare EHR incentive payments in 2011.
What is the discrepancy? I have a few theories…
1. Primary care physicians are using EHRs but are unable to get their system certified for incentives payments. (Cost of certified products versus non-certified products, unable to afford transition?)
2. Primary care physicians are using certified EHRs but were unable to manage and report properly to CMS to get the award. (Overworked and not enough resources, perhaps? Not enough staff? All of the above?)
Also, as a interesting note, only 29% of solo doctors have adopted EHRs. I wonder why…cost, perhaps?
If you connect the dots from the previous headlines together, the solo, primary care doctors are in a rock and a hard place. Not only are we not getting adequate reimbursements, we’re getting squeezed by external mandates, forcing us to choose between using expensive technology versus no technology at all. And those that want to use technology (or need to, like the micropractices)are having to choose between using technology and dropping Medicare patients (income loss), keeping Medicare patients with pending penalization (income loss yet again), or suffer net income losses by rising overhead expenditures in the form of paying for expensive, certified EHRs (income loss). It’s a LOSE-LOSE-LOSE situation. How often does that happen when you’re in a 3 way lose situation?!