Too expensive; too unproven; and too burdensome. It's time to say goodbye to this unwanted legislation.
The use of EHRs has increased measurably in the past decade. After years of heavy lobbying, “enterprise” EHR vendors have convinced the White House and Congress that this technology has the capability to increase quality, decrease errors, and reduce costs (http://HCP.LV/j67k3v). The federal government has responded by introducing intrusive legislative bills that are costly to physicians, Medicare and Medicaid patients, and the American taxpayer (http://HCP.LV/mkV4px; http://HCP.LV/jORxfn).
Section 132 of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (H.R. 6331) empowers CMS to pay a bonus to physicians for successful e-prescribing, (http://HCP.LV/kLxeZj). It also mandates penalties for not e-prescribing beginning in 2012. One of the first bills signed by President Obama was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which includes the HITECH Act, the cost to taxpayers for which has been estimated to be between $27 billion (http://HCP.LV/Lp2VTP) and $45 billion (http://HCP.LV/b9xQ8g) over the next 8+ years, most of which is unallocated and could be repealed (http://HCP.LV/jMyP8Q) if the Spending Reduction Act of 2011 (H.R. 408)becomes law.
I completely agree with the push to repeal the ARRA/HITECH Act; let me explain why:
Doctors and taxpayers are being asked to fund the expensive, unproven, and vendor-lobbied and —driven HITECT Act mandate that has failed to rapidly increase the adoption of EHR systems in health care. Congress needs to pull back the allocated, yet mostly unused, billions of dollars in funding. This money can better be used for either direct patient care or to pay down our country’s debt crisis.