Increasing Health IT, EHR Investment Runs Up Practice Costs

Sara Heath | EHR Intelligence | August 10, 2016

New data from MGMA shows that increasing health IT and EHR investments are running up major practice costs.

Health IT and EHR investments are costing physician-owned multispecialty practices thousands of dollars per physician, according to a new report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). The 2016 MGMA Cost and Revenue Report shows that health technologies such as EHRs ran physician practices up to $32,500 per physician in 2015. These expenses included information technology equipment, staff, maintenance, and other expenses. According to MGMA, these rising costs are a result of meaningful use, which provided monetary incentives to encourage practices to adopt EHRs and robust health IT systems.

Although these incentives initially helped mitigate the up-front costs for EHR adoption, they slowly petered out starting in 2011. Since then, health IT costs have risen by 40 percent, the data shows, and physician practices have faced rising health IT costs. According to MGMA officials, this shows an issue with federal incentive payment and health IT policies...