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'Age Is Just a Number' -- Does It Hold True for EHR Adoption?

by Kate Ackerman, Managing Editor, iHealthBeat

iHealthBeat reached out to our client Dr. Reavis Eubanks of Asheville, N.C. for this story about Meaningful Use and EHR adoption.

Older physicians are less likely to use an EHR system than their younger counterparts. A recent Health Affairs study found that in 2011 30.8% of physicians older than age 55 were using a basic EHR system, compared with 40% of doctors younger than age 40 and 35.5% of doctors ages 40 to 55.

There are several reasons for the lower electronic health record adoption rates among older physicians. Some older physicians might not be as technologically savvy as younger doctors and thus are reluctant to transition to an electronic-based workflow. In addition, older physicians are more likely to work in solo or small practices, which face greater financial barriers to EHR adoption. Further, some older physicians say they'll be ready for retirement by the time they start to see any return on investment from EHR adoption.

Currently, older physicians who use a paper-based record system are not eligible for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments under the Meaningful Use program. And, beginning in 2015, physicians who cannot demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs will be subject to a 1% reduction in Medicare payments. That penalty will increase by 1% in each subsequent year, eventually reaching 5%...

Read the rest of the story, with a cameo by Dr. Eubanks.

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