Lawmakers, Witnesses at House Hearing Cite High Costs, Patient Privacy as Concerns Regarding Health IT Adoption

Lawmakers and witnesses at a House Committee on Small Business hearing on Thursday discussed various barriers, such as high costs and privacy concerns, to adopting health information technology services for small and private health care practitioners, CQ HealthBeat reports. Legislation (HR 6357) aimed at spurring the adoption of health IT, such as a nationwide electronic health records system to raise the quality of health care and reduce medical costs, currently is under review in the House.
Committee Chair Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) said that implementing an EHR system could cost a physician more than $44,000, with additional costs to maintain the systems. Velazquez said, “For small health care providers with limited resources, these upfront costs are enough to break the bank.” She said that “only a handful of solo practitioners” currently have EHR systems in their practices, compared with about 57% of larger care providers.

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