Survey: More small physician offices adopting EMRs, but not necessarily for stimulus money

Reimbursement concerns are driving EMR adoption among small physician practices more than the promise of federal incentive payments. Of 269 practices with 10 or fewer physicians that took a survey conducted by healthcare communications network NaviNet, 17 percent said they would implement a new EMR by the end of 2011, and most of those would do so in the next 12 months. (Last year, NaviNet asked its survey pool if they would adopt EMRs in the following six months, and 9 percent said yes. The actual number turned out to be 12 percent.)

Still, 21 percent of practices had no plans to convert from paper to EMRs, though that is down from 31 percent a year ago. About twice as many respondents said their buying decisions were being driven by fears of not being reimbursed than by the chance to earn Medicare and Medicaid bonus payments for "meaningful use" starting next year. NaviNet says. Some 53 percent cited CMS mandates for electronic claims submission influenced IT purchasing decisions and 45 percent said they were looking for better ways to control overhead expenses.

In contrast, just 26 percent of practices said they plan on achieving meaningful use to qualify for federal stimulus funding, while 63 percent were unaware or unsure of what they would need to report to prove meaningful use.

For further details:
- read this Healthcare IT News story
- see this NaviNet press release