After having only two takers in nine months, the 728-doctor
Hawaii Independent Physicians Association this fall shut down its program to
give $3,000 to any member who implemented an electronic medical records system. From American Medical
In October, WellPoint Health Networks reported that 19,000 out of 25,000
physicians in four states participated in its $42 million initiative to give physicians a personal digital
assistant-based e-prescribing system or a desktop-based paperwork reduction system. But only 2,300 selected the
PDA-based clinical system.
Since August, the 150-doctor Central Massachusetts Independent Physician Assn.
(CMIPA) and Fallon Community Health Plan have offered $5,000 to physicians who buy
an EMR. If 10 to 15 doctors step up, the IPA and the plan will be happy. As these examples show, the use of financial
incentives to induce physicians to buy and implement EMRs has not been a smashing success.