The economics of digital medical records has thus far been unfair to doctors. It has been assumed that since doctors are responsible for the medical chart they should pay the cost for the technology. But in an era when patient information data is exchanged to the benefit of stakeholders including the Government, the Insurance Carriers, and the Patients themselves this onerous expense should no longer be solely the responsibility of the doctors- the status quo is unfair.
Government subsidies to doctors in the form of incentive payments for using Meaningful Use Electronic Medical Software have only partially reimbursed doctors for bearing this cost. And, of course, there will be the ongoing cost of hardware and software upgrades, the cost of maintaining the system, the cost of data entry, and the cost of data security over the Internet per HIPAA and Hi-tech. In an era of decreasing reimbursement and margins, doctors are expected to bear this expense cheerfully. I propose an Electronic Security Charge of $1 per visit per patient so that patients bear part of the burden of cost for the security of their data on the Internet.Dr. Mark Freeman