Hospitals Slow To Help Doctors Adopt EHRs, Study Finds
The federal government has eased physician self-referral and anti-kickback regulations to encourage hospitals to subsidize doctors' adoption of electronic health records, but most hospitals are not taking advantage of the temporary change in policy, according to a Center for Studying Health System Change study released Thursday, Modern Healthcare reports.
The relaxed physician self-referral and anti-kickback regulations are set to expire Dec. 31, 2013.
Looking at 24 hospitals in 12 representative metropolitan areas, researchers found that only seven hospitals were pursuing a strategy to provide financial or other support to doctors to purchase EHR systems, with just four hospitals reporting that they had begun implementing their plans or that implementation was scheduled for the near future.
The remaining 17 hospitals were in various planning and evaluation stages and did not expect to take action this year.
The report found that the two main factors motivating hospitals to support physician EHR adoption were improving quality and efficiency and "aligning physicians more closely with the hospital."
Hospitals said they were not doing more to subsidize EHR adoption because of the burden of ongoing health IT projects, budget limitations and a lack of physician interest.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the study (Robeznieks, Modern Healthcare, 9/18).