Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Health IT in Four Countries

How have different countries developed their health IT systems? A paper by Adler-Milstein et. al in Health Affairs provides some insight. I summarize their findings below. Australia. In the 1990s-early 2000s, the government supported the adoption of EHRs through federal incentives to general practitioners. These efforts focused primarily on EHRs with e-prescribing. In 2005 the […]

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Do EHRs increase “upcoding”?

Upcoding occurs when physician or hospitals artificially increase the patient’s severity of illness. For instance, a hospital may record additional comorbidities. In Medicare’s inpatient prospective payment systems (IPPS), Medicare reimburses hospitals more for caring for patients who are sicker. Some health policy experts worry that electronic health records (EHRs) will decrease the cost of documenting […]

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Hospital Adoption of EHR

Rising, but penetration is still far below 100%. Courtesy of Health Affairs. Source: Catherine M. DesRoches, Dustin Charles, Michael F. Furukawa, Maulik S. Joshi, Peter Kralovec, Farzad Mostashari, Chantal Worzala and Ashish K. Jha. Adoption Of Electronic Health Records Grows Rapidly, But Fewer Than Half Of US Hospitals Had At Least A Basic System In […]

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Is EHR a Money Loser for Physicians?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Policymakers, however, have been very excited about EHR and for good reason.  For instance, the  Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the 2009 stimulus package, provided direct dollars to doctors and hospitals who adopt and “meaningfully use” an EHR system. A paper by Milstein, Green […]

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Are Electronic Health Records Cost Effective?

It depends on who you ask. In the private market without health insurance, the answer is maybe.  Do patients value the ability for physicians (and hospitals) to rapidly review their records more than it cost the physician to install them?  If so, then they would be cost-effective as physicians could cover their cost by charging […]

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Is your personal health data secure?

In 2010, providers alone spent more than $88.6 billion on health IT initiatives in response to the US government’s “meaningful use” incentive program to drive widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs).  Is this data secure? For many individuals, the answer is no.  In just the last year and a half, a breach of personal […]

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Kaiser Permanente’s EHR System

As of 2009, only 9 percent of America’s hospitals were using even a basic form of electronic medical records (EHR) and as of 2008 only 13 percent of practicing doctors were doing so.  Yet one private health insurer has integrated EHR for hospitals, physicians, outpatient and other services.  I am of course talking about Kaiser Permanente. Today […]

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