Experts say Obama’s digital health records effort may be ‘effectively dead’

by Richard Pollock  |  published on October 29, 2014

President Obama’s ambitious $30 billion subsidy program to encourage doctors and hospitals to use electronic health records may be “effectively dead,” as doctors and hospitals flee the program.

The 2009 electronic health records law was heavily promoted by President Obama as a precursor to Obamacare.

He offered financial incentives to medical providers to encourage them to get off paper and use electronic systems for real-time sharing of health information.

Reformers promised there would many benefits once the program was in place. Most importantly, doctors and hospitals would receive nearly instantaneous medical profiles of their patients.

Five years after the law’s enactment, a large number of the nation’s doctors and hospitals are beginning to bail out of the program.

“We have been pondering the question of whether the government EHR program is effectively dead,” three Wells Fargo securities analysts asked in a proprietary report they prepared on Sept. 24 for investors in healthcare tech firms.

“Almost half of providers may drop out during” the current stage of the program, they concluded. The Washington Examiner obtained a copy of the report.

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