According to a recent survey, cost is the number one concern hindering physicians from incorporating electronic health records (EHRs) for their practices. The survey also discovered that respondents had limited understanding of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) offering financial assistance to physicians for implementing the EHR.

To know more on the subject, Ingenix recently launched a nationwide EHR / stimulus education initiative to guide physicians into learning how EHR technologies and financial incentives support their efforts to enhance patient care.

The online survey conducted by Ingenix gauged the attitudes toward EHR technologies of 1,001 U.S. physicians and physician practice administrators. Measured also was their understanding of how federal stimulus incentives might affect purchase decisions. Key findings suggest:

  • More than half (58 percent) of participants have small or no familiarity with ARRA, while the remaining 42 percent know few provisions.
  • Around 82 percent of the respondents say they would purchase EHR technologies if they are reimbursed for the investment with 34 percent among them very eager about the purchase.
  • Penalties for not adopting EHR technology by 2014, as prescribed by the provisions of the ARRA stimulus, would most likely motivate 72 percent of participants to implement the technology.

The Ingenix EHR / stimulus education program highlights a webinar series aimed to guide physicians in understanding better the ARRA incentives for EHR adoption and their eligibility requirements. Additionally, Ingenix initiated a new online EHR/stimulus education resource center at, featuring extra details about ARRA provisions and tools to assist physicians evaluate their needs, advice for selecting and reviewing EHR systems, and information on costs and savings.

“Ingenix is meeting a critical need by providing physicians with the practical information they need to make decisions about EHRs,” says vice president for Ingenix, Kim La Fontana. “While our survey indicates that the federal stimulus incentives hit one of the sweet-spots in addressing physicians` primary concern – reimbursing them for the cost of the technology – it also shows that there is a real need for HIT companies to provide solutions and assistance in making the technology a productive addition to the physician practice, not a drag on productivity. Ingenix is helping physicians get the most of this opportunity and select an EHR system that supports their biggest priority – caring for patients.”

Health care benefits from EHR as it reduces and eliminates the need for paper charts and improves access to patient-specific health data and medical knowledge at the point of care. Due to its great benefits, health care policy makers believe EHRs are integral for the improvement of quality and affordability of health care services. Thus the Federal stimulus incentives aim to promote widespread EHR adoption by allotting $19 billion in special Medicare reimbursement payments to practices that demonstrate meaningful use of the technology. Each physician could receive $44,000 over a five-year period.

Ingenix CareTracker EMR, a web-based electronic health record solution, fully integrates with all the operational functions of a physician’s practice.

The survey by Ingenix has a 3.1 percent margin of error.