Monday, October 1, 2012

Electronic Medical Records boost hospital bills

The potential benefits of electronic medical records (EMR's) induced the Obama Administration to provide billions of dollars for physicians and hospitals to use them.  The result is new kind of irony:  instead of lower costs, EMR's are instead making it easier for hospitals and physicians to bill more for their services, whether or not they provide additional care:
The share of highest-paying claims at Baptist Hospital in Nashville climbed 82 percent in 2010, the year after it began using a software system for its emergency room records.

So if you make it easier to bill, you get more billing.  Who could have predicted this?

HT:  Don Marron


  1. EMR software has greatly benefited my life. I am required to visit a doctor every week for a rare condition that I was born with. I am also required to update my medical records every month. This software has made both my physician's as well as my own life SO much easier!

  2. It sounds like EMR billing increased efficiency. Assuming that the hospitals intended to bill for these services all along, they have increased billing effectiveness. If more of the right people are getting correct bills, the hospital should end up with more money. Hopefully that would mean they'd need fewer subsidy programs from the government. Greater financial security might allow them to lower costs across the board (for competitive advantage - not kindness).

  3. This post is so informative and makes a very nice image on the topic in my mind. It is the first time I visit your blog, but I was extremely impressed. Keep posting as I am gonna come to read it everyday!
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  4. Electronic Medical Records have helped hospitals become more efficient. It is only reasonable that there would be increased profits because of more efficient operations. EMR also provides the ability to reduce errors and increase patient safety. It allows for the sharing of medical records across various providers which will only help the patients they service. With this technology there is no longer the miscommunication of what services hospitals and physicians are billing for. They are increasing using billing codes that weren't available before because now there isn't any misconception of what illness or procedure falls under what billing category.

    In giving incentives the government should have expected that many hospitals and physicians would look to maximize the use of this technology including its benefits. They effectively gave these organizations the tools necessary to cut costs and improve their operations.

  5. Electronic Medical Records definitely make life a lot simpler. As a medical student, EMR systems are tough to learn at first, but help to standardize the care for a patient, as well as facilitate communication between a patient’s various doctors, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers.

    And yes, I must admit. Billing is ridiculously easy. Many procedures don’t require any additional work other than just clicking a checkbox in the system to bill and it automatically gets grouped together for billing. Therefore, it comes at no surprise that hospitals and physicians are making a lot more after implementing an EMR system due to its efficiency and ease of use.