Many docs not worried about penalties for EMR non-use

While a large majority of physicians know that the federal government is offering financial incentives for EMR implementation, more than 35 percent of doctors surveyed by a malpractice insurer were unaware that they face Medicare payment reductions if they haven't achieved "meaningful use" of an EMR by 2015.

And when informed of the penalties, 65 percent of those previously unaware of the deadline said the prospect of smaller reimbursements would not prompt them to switch to electronic records, according to the survey, from Roslyn, N.Y.-based Physicians' Reciprocal Insurers.

Despite other studies suggesting that cost no longer is a major barrier to EMR adoption, the PRI survey found that nearly 85 percent of responding physicians were "very" or "somewhat" concerned about the price tag. Reinforcing this notion, 70 percent of respondents said they expect to spend at least $15,000 on an EMR.

Another source of consternation was staff training, which 79 percent of physicians said had them "very" or "somewhat" concerned. Still, 58 percent of respondents said that EMRs would have a positive or very positive effect on the quality of care they deliver, and only a handful of doctors were worried that electronic records would cause patient data to be lost.

"The ability to pull patient records and use the data in a collaborative environment will change the way healthcare is administered, and contribute the reduction of risk," Gerri Donohue, PRI's associate director of risk management education, says in a press release. "It's encouraging to see that the majority of physicians understand this benefit."

To learn more:
- take a look at this Healthcare IT News story
- see this PRI press release