Electronic medical records and doctor/patient communication
View from the US: When I talk to family members or friends who are physicians these days, I hear a lot of complaints.
What seems to get US doctors I talk to most agitated is an aspect of Obamacare that gets relatively little attention outside the healthcare community: the “forced” conversion of medical practices to electronic medical records (EMR).Under legislation signed in 2009, physicians were given a January 2015 deadline to convert to EMR and show “meaningful use” of these systems or face lower reimbursement rates on Medicare physician fees – a penalty of 1 percent of Medicare payments, increasing to 2 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017. To help offset the cost of EMR conversion, the federal government is offering individual practitioners up to $44,000 in incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With both a carrot and a stick in place, physician practices, large and small, have been converting en masse.