Partners HealthCare requires EMRs for its physicians

In an unusual move, though one which may soon become more common, Boston-based Partners HealthCare has decided that physicians who don't bring on an EMR by its deadline will be kicked out of its network. Executives with the system said that they expect to lose 15 to 20 primary care physicians this year due to the mandate, but this shouldn't harm Partners, whose overall network includes about 5,000.

By January 1, 2008, primary care physicians participating in the Partners Community HealthCare physician network now must implement either Partners' EMR or one created by GE Healthcare. (The network will give them through the end of 2008 if they sign a promise to implement an EMR system by the end of the year.) Specialists, meanwhile, have until the end of 2008 to implement an EMR, but are out of the network if they're not on board by January 1, 2009. It wasn't clear whether Partners was paying for the EMR system itself, but it appears that at minimum, doctors must pay for the installation out of pocket.

To find out more about the new requirements:
- read this Modern Healthcare article

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Smaller practices still behind in IT adoption. Report
Study: EMR adoption held back by multiple issues. Report
Study: Physicians at EMR "tipping point." Report
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