Budget Office Downplays EHRs' Effect on Reducing Health Costs

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The use of electronic health records, without a major change in health care delivery, would not significantly reduce overall health care costs, the director of the Congressional Budget Office said at the release of the agency's report on long-term health care spending, Health IT Strategist reports.

Peter Orszag, CBO's director, said that according to data from the report, the return on investment for EHRs "is not going to be as substantial as people think."

The CBO's assessment could influence federal lawmakers and presidential candidates who have touted widespread adoption of EHRs to rein in health care costs.

Orszag said, however, that EHRs could be beneficial in assembling a comprehensive database that could track results of clinical comparative effectiveness research (DoBias, Health IT Strategist, 11/13). The CBO health care spending report is available online (.pdf).


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