Monday, December 22, 2008

Medicare to Docs: Go Electronic in 2012

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, will offer financial bonuses to doctors who prescribe drugs electronically rather than on paper. Doctors who do not will face penalties from Medicare starting in 2012. From Reuters. Medicare states that this is to improve efficiency between doctors and pharmacies and to avoid problems with handwriting, patients who lost prescription notes, etc. However, how much is this going to cost doctors--especially those who are serving low income areas or who are in private practice? I understand that Medicare is now offering monetary incentives to doctors who welcome this program but why bribe doctors into doing something that they will already ahave to do in a few years. Medicare should, if they are mandating that doctors adhere to this new policy, spend money to educate docs and their staff on the new inititative.

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