The American Medical Group Association, which represents large practices like the Cleveland Clinic, wants to see the government help to pay for their growing investments in cutting edge technologies like EMRs. The AMGA is asking CMS to take into account the extent to which it spends on IT and coordinated care by, for example, raising payments per beneficiary or creating new CPT codes taking these measures into account.
But wait--aren't these investments at the core of what these large do to compete? So wouldn't that put government in the business of financing an IT arms race among the largest players in the medical practice world? Maybe the government should indeed pay for IT investment, but methods that favor the groups who already have the capital might (justifiably) raise a few hackles. If CMS or lawmakers take this on, they're going to have to do a real balancing act.
To get more background on the AMGA's proposal:
- read this article from Modern Physician