Giving physicians yet another reason to deploy EMRs in their practices, one Republican and one Democratic Senator have jointly introduced a bill including quality reporting incentives for physicians. The provisions were expected, as part of a feverish round of deal-making which ended in CMS agreeing to drop its scheduled 5 percent Medicare payment cut for physicians. Doctors will begin to report quality data in 2008, when final quality measures are expected to be in place. Physicians who agree to participate will get an extra 1.5 percent incentive payment on covered services. Given how hard it can be to tease quality data out of scrawled paper records, however, they'll have a lot easier time of it if they've put EMRs in place. So don't be surprised if 2008 is a watershed year for EMR adoption, even among the smaller practices that have lagged way behind to date.
To learn more about the bill:
- read this piece in Healthcare IT News