Surprise: Every American Will Not Have An Electronic Health Record This Year

Bob Brewin | | October 9, 2014

In 2004, President George W. Bush kicked off a project designed to provide most Americans with an electronic health record in 2014. That was followed by a similar goal set by President Barack Obama in 2009.  But as the end of 2014 comes nearer, these ambitious goals still have not been met.

“We have made great progress … [but] we have much more work to do,” said Jodi Daniel, director of the Office of Policy in the Office of the National Coordinator Health Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.  So far, about 75 percent of the clinicians and 91 percent of the hospitals who treat patients under Medicare or Medicaid have adopted health information technology under an incentive program in the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health – or HITECH – Act, Daniel said.

Since 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service have paid out $23.7 billion to hospitals and medical professionals to adopt electronic health records. This covers 385,158 clinicians and 4,993 hospitals.  But Daniel said her office has no way to determine how many patients cared for by CMS providers actually have electronic health records. CMS provides care for about 105 million people, or roughly one-third of the U.S. population...