Report: Technology reimbursement key to growth in the preventative care space

Preventative care can control healthcare costs and ward off diseases, and a new report from research firm Frost & Sullivan determines that technology implementation will be key to growth in the space, despite looming challenges like reimbursement.

According to the report, a lack of provider incentives has slowed the technology adoption process, even though regulations and the economy continue to push healthcare professionals to incorporate some innovations--like electronic health records--into their care. For instance, through December 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Meaningful Use Incentive Programs have paid eligible professionals a total of $10.3 billion in incentive payments for the successful adoption of EHR technology.

Still, physicians, according to the report's authors, also can be hesitant to implement technology, especially if they are unsure about cost-effectiveness.

"Everyone involved in healthcare must realize that disregarding more cost-effective and efficient delivery of healthcare can potentially bankrupt many states," Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Aarti Shetty said in an announcement. "This also creates heavy financial burdens for the federal government, while jeopardizing the overall quality of care."

Physicians, the report's authors concluded, must realize prevention is very important, regardless of technology reimbursements. Still, the authors acknowledged that as long as such reimbursements lag, movement in the preventative technologies market will be slow.

Some hospitals are seeing the advantage in giving physicians incentive to stress primary care, tying bonus payments to quality measures that include coordinated primary and preventative health services, such as the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. President Alan D. Aviles said in a statement that improvement target and awards "shore up the financial viability of our system going forward," as FierceHealthcare reported.

Skeptics have argued that performance initiatives could lead doctors to manipulating the system. Financial incentive programs have struggled to gain motion in the past due to the Stark law and anti-kickback statutes, as a report from the Government Accountability Office stated last year.

To learn more:
- read the Frost & Sullivan report

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