Calif. Hospitals Bank On Tech InvestmentsSan Jose Business Journal: "The Recovery Act allocated $19 billion to hospitals and physicians for the implementation of Electronic Health Records. Hospitals can receive up to several million dollars, depending on their size, and individual physicians up to $44,000, for using certified EHR technology. At Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Chief Medical Information Officer Dr. Pravene Nath said the hospital will begin assessing the number of physicians that could qualify for the reimbursements." Though the exact amount Nath's hospital and its affiliated physicians can generate remains unclear, he said it is a strong incentive. The hospital already uses electronic medical records (Duan, 6/25).
MarketWatch: "As medical inflation spirals ever higher, the scope of [Mountain View, Calif., hospital] El Camino's tech overhaul raises the question: Will its investments pay off by reining in health-care cost growth? [Chief information officer Greg] Walton, a 40-year health-information-technology veteran, has his doubts." He said, "If you put more technology in, it brings value. ... It doesn't necessarily bring down the cost, and that's because as a society we haven't made some hard decisions about how much money are we willing to spend on health care?" (Gerencher, 6/25).