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Cash Reward Not an Incentive to EMR Adoption

dollarsAfter 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 News:

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.

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