Doctors Say Health IT Will Result in Higher Costs, Report Finds

Most U.S. physicians think that the use of health IT systems ultimately will result in higher costs, according to a new report from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, FierceHealthIT reports (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 5/14).

Report Details

The report is based on an online survey of 613 U.S. primary care and specialist physicians randomly selected from the American Medical Association's master file.

According to Deloitte, the survey participants reflect the national distribution of physicians in the AMA master file according to:

  • Years in practice;
  • Gender;
  • Region; and
  • Medical specialty.

Main Findings

The report found that:

  • 73% of U.S. physicians believe that health IT adoption will improve care quality in the long run;
  • 71% of believe that health IT adoption ultimately will result in higher costs (Deloitte report, 5/14); and
  • About 60% believe that hospital-physician relationships will suffer as hospitals comply with the requirements of the meaningful use program.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments.

When asked whether they have an EHR system that meets the requirements under Stage 1 of the meaningful use program:

  • About two-thirds of all physicians reported having such EHR capabilities;
  • 89% of physicians working in an integrated health system reported having such EHR capabilities; and
  • 31% of solo physicians reported having such EHR capabilities.

Among physicians that lacked a Stage 1-compliant EHR system, 72% said that the initial technology costs were a barrier to adoption, the report found (FierceHealthIT, 5/14).

Mobile Health-Related Findings

According to the report, 57% of physicians say they do not use mobile health technologies. When such respondents were asked why they do not use mobile health tools, approximately:

  • 44% said that their workplace does not provide mobile tools and that they are unwilling to use their personal devices;
  • 29% cited concerns about patient privacy; and
  • 26% said that mobile applications and programs are not suited to their needs (Deloitte report, 5/14).
Stephen Ruehle
Our government is systematically decimating the practice of medicine. CMS called a long overdue "timeout" and solicited comments concerning how to rectify their disastrous EHR mandates. The current immature, rushed and propietary EHR technology fails to meet the objectives intended to improve quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare. Unscrupulous, but effective lobbyists promoted corporate sponsorship of the EHR data mining scheme, with a play-or-pay federal penalty for physicians. Realistically reworking the onerous mandates concerning E-prescribing, EHR and the new International Classification of Diseases, ICD-10, taking into consideration what actually goes on when trying to care for patients is the only way to move forward with government objectives. Allow doctors to treat patients in accordance with best scientific information, instead of spending their time attempting to comply with nonsensical mandates.
Jerry Kaufman
It's time that all health care providers understand the importance of utilizing mobile devices in order to monitor their patients through a continuum of care. Hospital to skilled nursing facility to home, etc. This can only be accomplished effortlessly through the use of secure wireless communication. Utilizing these devices puts the physician, care coordinators, health coaches, etc, in 24hr contact with their patients and can lead to increased patient satisfaction and to reducing readmissions to hospitals thereby leading to increased revenues rather than lose in revenues due to fines or government penalties.

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