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Government incentives, growing administration costs, and a desire to improve patient care have propelled the sales of EMR systems in 2011 to $17.9 billion, a 14.2 percent increase, according to data from Kalorama Information, a market research publisher. The federal government set aside close to $20 billion in incentives for hospitals and physician practices to adopt electronic health records as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February 2009.

In addition to the incentives, a fear of looming government penalties has motivated healthcare organizations to implement EMRs. After 2015, a physician or hospital is required to implement EMR and to demonstrate ‘meaningful use’ and a penalty will be assessed if claims are submitted via paper. The current plan is to penalize Medicare payments for ‘non-meaningful users of EMR’ by 1% for 2015, 2 percent for 2016, 3 percent for 2017 and future penalties to be determined. Given the amount of time and expenses that can go into implementing an EHR system, many medical offices have already begun the transition, and more are expected to do so over the next year.

In its recent report, “EMR 2012: the Market for Electronic Medical Records,” Kalorama found the uptick in sales is being aided by increasing physician and hospital acceptance, robust competition and growth in EHR budgets. Kalorama expects the pending penalties to continue to drive up sales and predicts the EMR market growth rate to be 20 percent in 2012-2013.

Via: Healthcare IT News

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