Meaningful Use Can Cost Millions, Even After EHR Purchase

Ken Terry | FierceHealthIT | October 27, 2011

How much does Meaningful Use cost a healthcare system, beyond the initial price of electronic health record hardware and software? The CIOs of three systems gave answers to that question in a wide-ranging discussion at CHIME's Fall CIO Forum in San Antonio.

Karen Thomas, vice president and CIO of Mainline Health, said her system--which includes four acute-care hospitals and 400 physicians eligible for government EHR incentives--has spent between $3 million and $4 million on its Meaningful Use effort across inpatient and ambulatory care. That's less than the Philadelphia-area healthcare system expects to receive in Stage 1 Meaningful Use rewards, she said. But the incentives will be less than the total amount invested in the EHR system, she added.