GAO finds conflicting priorities in EHR, eRx programs

03/14/2011 | American Medical News (subscription required)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should better align the two programs that encourage physicians to adopt electronic health records and electronic prescribing systems, a Government Accountability Office analysis found. Each program has different reporting criteria, and the EHR program requires the use of certified technology, while the eRx program -- which doctors are supposed to start using before June 1 -- does not. "The unreasonable penalty policy in the e-prescribing program will force physicians to purchase stand-alone e-prescribing software just to avoid penalties -- software that most of them will end up discarding when they transition to a complete [electronic health record] system," said Dr. Steven J. Stack, AMA secretary.

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