Misaligned EMR Incentives Not New

Posted on June 14, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve been writing for quite a while about the issue with EMR adoption being that the incentives to adopt an EMR are really misaligned. The more I post to this website about EMR, the clearer it becomes that the EMR adoption incentives still need a lot of work.

Sadly, today I was looking through some of my 159 draft posts (basically ideas for future articles on this site) and I came across a link to another EMR blogger from December 2007. In that post, he quotes a paper published in JAMIA 2005 that makes the following point:

Misaligned incentives. Simply, the people being expected to pay for EHR systems are the ones gaining the smallest percentage of pay back. payors and employers have by far the most incentive to see EHRs implemented.

I’m sure many in the industry already knew this, but I think it’s unfortunate that 4 years later we still have the same incentive problem with EMR adoption. It will be interesting to see how ARRA and the EMR stimulus money will impact this situation.

As a side note, it seems like the blogger that posted this back in 2007 is working on some pretty interesting projects related to hospital report cards and other hospital data extraction.