This Would Be Funny If It Were Not So Sad

When the federal government began providing billions of dollars in incentives to push hospitals and physicians to use electronic medical and billing records, the goal was not only to improve efficiency and patient safety, but also to reduce health care costs.

But, in reality, the move to electronic health records may be contributing to billions of dollars in higher costs for Medicare, private insurers and patients by making it easier for hospitals and physicians to bill more for their services, whether or not they provide additional care.

Regulators say physicians have changed the way they bill for office visits similarly, increasing their payments by billions of dollars as well.

Source: The New York Times.

Comments (6)

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  1. Jordan says:

    EMRs make it “faster and easier to be fraudulent.” Nice.

    Records cloning has been a significant issue in places like VA hospitals since the introduction of EMRs, so it doesn’t surprise me that something like this would happen.

  2. Alex says:

    Sounds like it might lead to a vicious cycle in which healthcare costs rise because of electronic records, and use/adoption of said records is mandated further to try and lower costs.

  3. Frank says:

    Upgrading is worth the investment…

  4. Robert says:

    I really don’t understand the issue or where the problem is coming from? As long ago as 2003-2005 when I worked in the hospitals, we were using electronic records and I don’t know when they had started. I can recall from the same time period when my personal physician would come in the room with a laptop tablet PC and immediately send my prescriptions electronically to my pharmacy. Technology is good and it’s been in use far before this whole Obamacare fiasco. Crack down on these crooked physicians and strip some of their licenses, that should scare some of them straight.

  5. Lucy Hender says:


    Upgrading would certainly be worth it if EMRs actually improved the access of patients to care and the quality of care provided. Instead, costs are rising; higher costs are opening doors for physicians and hospitals to bill more than what their services are actually worth, making it harder for insurers to reimburse the fair amount and not give money away; which consequently leads to poor access of patients to care because they simply can’t afford such increased costs. How is this efficient? I’m not sure.

  6. Ender says:

    I dont think medical costs will go down until their is major reform.