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Are Data Fees Getting in the Way of Health Care Reform?

As the implementation of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act continues, many doctors and health care organizations are dealing with escalating costs associated with data sharing.

For the most part, these fees stem from the software vendors, who often ask for thousands of dollars for physicians to have access to data-sharing capabilities. As most medical professionals know, the digitization and sharing of health records is a key aspect of the ACA, but these costs are threatening the ability of clinics and hospitals to meet the new federal requirements.

Overall, the goal of this part of the ACA is to both move doctors away from the antiquated paper chart systems many health care professionals use to storing data digitally, as well as to improve the quality of care and bring down health care costs across the United States.

A majority of physicians have, by now, moved to electronic health records (EHRs), but a lot of the information they need is now “trapped” in computers and servers run by software firms. At this point, there is a lack of capability between products and systems, and doctors are increasingly complaining that there seems to be little incentive to solve the problem.

It’s an issue that physicians’ groups believe needs to be address at the federal level, and it may require Congressional action. The policymakers who set up the federal incentive program to move to EHRs did not predict many of these extra costs, and they are now placing a heavy burden on doctors’ offices nationwide.

To learn more about this issue and how your clinic or organization can deal with the challenges associated with data fees, meet with a knowledgeable Jacksonville health care law attorney today.


Attorney Andrea Jevic contributed to this blog post.

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