Healthcare News & Insights

New program tests real value of electronic health record subsidies

One major hospital system is offering up to $40,000 per doctor to adopt EHRs. Will it be worth it?

North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System is hoping so.

The first phase of the program will be rolled out to roughly 100 local doctors, then eventually to all the hospital’s 7,000 affiliated doctors. The subsidies, which will be paid over five years, are in addition to federal subsidies of up to $44,000.

North Shore’s goal is to not just get doctors using EHRs to send/receive basic data, but to improve overall patient outcomes.With that in mind, the subsidies are tiered: Physicians can get up to 50% of the total cost of implementing EHRs if they just install systems that can “talk” with the hospitals and labs.

But docs can get as much as 85% of the total cost subsidized if they share (non-personal) data on various patient measures. Of particular interest is data on patients with chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiac post-op outcomes, etc.

It’s expensive, no doubt. But it could have a couple of huge payoffs for North Shore.

When fully rolled out, the program could give North Shore a massive database of patient care information and help health care providers make better decisions on which course of treatment will provide the best outcome.

The program holds promise of another benefit: By creating stronger links — literally —  with local physicians, the hospital will presumably be in a better position to recruit new docs and retain current ones.

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