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Financial incentives drive EHR adoption

December 10, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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A new data brief released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) shows that financial incentives—more than the ability to share data—has been driving the adoption of electronic health records.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2013 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 62 percent of responding physicians said these financial incentives, offered under the 2009 HITECH Act's Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs, were a major reason they adopted an EHR.

Interestingly, before funding became an option, the ability to electronically exchange clinical data was the driving force among physicians. Since HITECH was enacted, more than a third of physicians reported that this also became a major factor in their decision.

"We have seen a significant increase in the adoption and use of health IT systems among providers and the new data shows the importance of incentives in building an interoperable health IT system," said Karen DeSalvo, MD, national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary of health, in a press release. "National delivery system reform initiatives linked to certified technology, such as the separately billable chronic care management services, will help make the electronic use and sharing of health information a reality."