NYC mayor calls for universal EMRs by 2012

So you thought absolutely everyone had an opinion on EMRs? Add publishing magnate and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to the list. "In this day and age, there is no more excuse for delay," said Bloomberg, speaking at a health policy conference last week. The mayor apparently practices what he preaches, with the city recently committing $27 million to help make EMR technology affordable for smaller medical practices. Due in part to his advocacy, New York was one of the first cities to implement EMRs in public hospitals and community health centers, Bloomberg told the conference.

So how will the country meet this five-year EMR goal? Among other things, some keys are to subsidize hospitals and doctors' purchase of EMRs and pay doctors incentives for using IT for prevention, he said. Bloomberg estimates that the transition to EMRs will cost about $20 billion, which he said was a small number when compared with overall U.S. healthcare spending.

For more information on Bloomberg's proposals:
- read this United Press International article