Another Obamacare proposal that didn't deliver promised cost savings
Most doctors who install electronic medical records systems will lose money in the first five years, according to a study that suggests a multibillion-dollar effort to computerize care in the U.S. may not live up to its promise.
A survey of Massachusetts physicians indicated an initial loss of $43,743 on the investment, researchers said today in the journal Health Affairs. Almost two-thirds of the 49 practices using electronic records would lose money even with subsidies included in President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, the researchers said.
The 2009 law set aside $27 billion to help doctors and hospitals go digital, ballooning sales along the way for technology providers including Epic Systems Corp. and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. (MDRX) The Massachusetts results show companies and politicians may have oversold the potential gains, said Julia Adler-Milstein, the study’s lead author. . . .
Even the doctors who would have made money dispute the premise pushed by supporters that electronic systems can help reduce U.S. health costs, she said. Practices projected to gain did so mainly because they were able to see more patients or get more claims approved by insurers, the study found. . . .