NY governor gets support from MDs on EMR push

Over the past year, many state and federal initiatives have been launched which have attempted to bring more physicians into the EMR fold. But few, unfortunately, have had the support of physician groups, which has limited their effectiveness significantly. In New York, however, things may actually turn out differently. Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) has actually gotten the Medical Society of the State of New York to join him in a campaign promoting the use of EMRs by physicians in the state. Still, it's not clear he's going to put up the bucks to really make things happen.

Spitzer's 2008 agenda focuses heavily on boosting the state's HIT infrastructure. He plans to award $106 million this year to help foster the community-wide adoption of EMRs (though he hasn't said specifically that he'd reimburse doctors for investing in EMR systems). Without money flowing into practices, the odds seem slim that he'll get far, even with the support of the medical society's leadership. According to the medical society, the EMR adoption rate for all physicians in New York was 18 percent in 2006, but only 8 percent among small groups or solo practices--with smaller groups saying that they simply can't afford EMR investments.

To learn more about Spitzer's efforts:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece

Related Articles:
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Study: Physicians at EMR "tipping point." Report