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ACP says Medicare should increase payments for physicians that use HIT to improve quality
Date:7/24/2008

e average annual ongoing costs are about $8,500 per physician. For many of these practices, the 'business case' for making such a large investment simply doesn't exist. Public and private payers -- not the physicians -- realize much of the savings from physician investment in acquiring the necessary HIT. Mandating use of HIT, especially in the absence of positive financial incentives and lack of uniform standards of interoperability and functionality, will likely drive the physician practices we need the most out of business. Positive incentives are the answer."

ACP specific recommendations to Congress included:

  • Build into the Medicare physician payment system an add-on code for office visits and other services when supported by certified HIT.
  • Continue to support the establishment of the standards needed to allow true interoperability.
  • Continue to advance the Patient Centered Medical Home, or PCMH, model as a means of rapidly driving primary care practices to acquire the information systems and other capabilities needed to provide patient-centered and coordinated care.
  • Require that Medicare cover specific services associated with patient-centered care, such as secure email consultations and remote monitoring.

"The College is the largest medical specialty society in the U.S., representing 126,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students," Dr. Ejnes concluded. "We share your optimism that health information technology can improve quality and decrease costs. Many studies have found that full adoption and utilization of HIT can improve quality and reduce high medical costs."


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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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