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EHRs Can Be Used to Boost Practice Revenue

Return on investment can be realized by participating in alternative delivery models

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Practices can achieve return on investment (ROI) for implementation of electronic health record (EHR) systems if they participate in alternative delivery models, according to an article published May 8 in Medical Economics.

According to the author of the article, Ken Terry, relying on increased efficiency gained from EHR implementation is not being realized. However, having an EHR enables participation in alternative delivery models. An EHR is necessary in accountable care organizations (ACOs) because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services factors the percentage of ACO members who have achieved meaningful use into its bonus calculations, and some of the quality measures in the shared savings program require clinical data that are easier to collect with EHRs. These Medicare Shared Savings Program bonuses will likely help practices realize ROI. Additionally, insurers incentivize patient-centered medical homes, and pay-for-performance programs pay quality bonuses.

Terry notes that, whether participating in these alternative delivery models or not, it is necessary to change practice processes to capitalize on the advantages of EHR technology.

"We're succeeding despite the challenges that we have with getting any data out of our EHRs," said Simon Prince, M.D., a nephrologist based in Manhasset, N.Y., according to the Medical Economics article. "We find that the ROI from that perspective is limited for now, but the potential is there."

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