Healthcare Billing and HIPAA Impede EMR Progress

Posted on July 21, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I had this post in my drafts from a long long time ago. It linked to an article that is no longer relevant. However, I still think the title is incredible relevant. I was talking with someone this week about the real problem with EMR software is that they have to jump through the crazy billing requirements. Although, you could certainly add in the HIPAA requirements in some regards as well.

We can all appreciate the need to protect patients information. Plus, while HIPAA has some issues, I think it could be much worse. So, I can’t say I can really complain about the HIPAA requirements as they relate to EMR.

Instead, I’ll focus this post on the crazy billing requirements that doctors have to jump through in order to be reimbursed for their work.

Now, imagine the beautiful EMR interface that could be created if everything about the EMR software was focused on patient care and physician workflow. I’d love for someone to do a study on what percentage of EMR functions are there because of the onerous billing requirements. I think we’d be shocked to find out how many of them are there because of billing.

I’ve covered this topic from a lot of different angles before. It just keeps coming back to me over and over again. So, until I find someone who has a fix for it, I’m going to keep bringing it up.

Of course, I wonder if 3 years down the road I’ll be writing a post talking about how meaningful use is impeding EMR progress. Then, I’ll be interested in a study that looks at how many features of an EMR were needlessly added thanks to meaningful use.