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40 Regulation 26 (2017-2018)
Should Government Subsidize and Regulate Electronic Health Records

handle is hein.journals/rcatorbg40 and id is 92 raw text is: 

26 / Regulation / SUMMER 2017






Current law may be locking in

deficient  technology.

                 ealth information technology innova-
                 tion focuses on electronic health records
                 (EHRs), which can collect, store, and trans-
                 mit health information within electronic
                 health information exchanges. Exchanges
                 enable doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other
                 health care providers, and patients to gain
access to and share medical information electronically in ways that
potentially improve the speed, quality, and safety of patient care.
  The potential benefits ofEHRs are clear, given that the practice
of medicine frequently relies on seemingly archaic methods of
information delivery. These benefits, along with the perception
that providers were too slow in adopting EHRs, motivated passage
of the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and
Clinical Health Act. That act authorized financial incentives of$30
billion to eligible hospitals and professionals through Medicare and
Medicaid to adopt and meaningfully use certified EHR technology.
  Despite the laudable intent, government subsidies for EHR
adoptions have locked in immature technology rather than
spurred innovations that would otherwise have evolved over time.
Lost opportunities for better patient care at lower expense are
one major cost of the subsidy program. In place of the subsidies,
government should adopt policies that are more likely to promote
innovation that will improve public health.
MICHAEL L. MARLOW is professor of economics at California Polytechnic State
University, San Luis Obispo. This article is condensed from his working paper,
Should Government Subsidize Electronic Health Records? Mercatus Center at
George Mason University, March 2017.

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