EHRs boost quality, raise costs at community clinics

Electronic health records certainly do help improve the quality of care at community health centers, but do not necessarily provide any financial benefits, a new study says. Writing in the January/February issue of Health Affairs, University of California, San Francisco, researchers Robert H. Miller and Chris West find that quality improvements from performance reports and point-of-care clinical reminders can be substantial, but of the six centers that participated in the study, five lost money on the EHR investment.

"Because CHCs are paid differently than most other practices, they really can't use the EHR as a tool for revenue enhancement," said Miller. "In the CHC world, it is flat-rate payments from Medicaid, and lump sum payments from the [California] Bureau of Primary Health Care."

For more:
- access the Health Affairs report
- read the Healthcare IT News article

Read more on