Medicare Is Faulted on Shift to Electronic Records

The use of electronic medical records has been central to the aim of overhauling health care in America. Advocates contend that electronic records systems will improve patient care and lower costs through better coordination of medical services. The privacy protection of those records has been a primary concern.
But as Reed Abelson of The New York Times reports, the conversion to electronic medical records is “vulnerable” to fraud and abuse because of the failure of Medicare officials to develop appropriate safeguards, according to a sharply critical report to be issued on Thursday by federal investigators.
The report says Medicare, which is charged with managing the incentive program that encourages the adoption of electronic records, has failed to put in place adequate safeguards to ensure that information being provided by hospitals and doctors about their electronic records systems is accurate. To qualify for the incentive payments, doctors and hospitals must demonstrate that the systems lead to better patient care, meeting a so-called meaningful use standard by, for example, checking for harmful drug interactions.
Although there is little disagreement over the potential benefits of electronic records in reducing duplicative tests and avoiding medical errors, critics increasingly argue that the federal government has not devoted enough time or resources to making certain the money it is investing is being well spent.

Source:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/daily-report-medicare-is-faulted-on-shift-to-electronic-records/
 

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