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Doctors Spending in Excess of $32,000 on Health IT

Costs increased by 40 percent between 2009 and 2015 and are expected to continue increasing

TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Doctors are spending more than $32,000 per year on health information technology (IT), according to an article published in Medical Economics.

Results from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey suggest that medical groups spend more than $32,500 per year for every full-time doctor in their practice. Multisite practices incur additional costs for salaries of IT support staff and equipment, maintenance, and supplies.

Between 2009 and 2015, costs for IT increased by 40 percent, with the biggest increases seen in 2010 and 2011; costs can be expected to continue increasing at considerable rates. IT plays a crucial role in helping health care organizations to evolve in order to provide higher quality, value-based care, and physicians are looking to use technology to improve practice management and to avoid government meaningful use penalties. Frustrations with technology (e.g., decreased productivity that accompanies the adoption of electronic health records) further increase the associated costs.

“Look at the opportunities to streamline your revenue cycle, such as through electronic funds transfer and insurance eligibility verification,” said Rob Tennant, MGMA’s health information technology policy director, according to the article. “If you’re spending the money, make sure that the system is meeting your practice’s needs.”

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