The widespread adoption of electronic prescriptions and electronic health records may actually increase costs for health providers, according to economists Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute, and Eugene Steuerle, a senior fellow from the institute, Health IT Strategist reports.
“I don’t think we know, on net, if [health IT] will save money,” said Steuerle at the Senate Budget Committee meeting on Tuesday.
Both economists, however, agreed that health IT could make the health care system safer and more efficient. Health IT will provide the basis for a pay-for-performance program, but the cost savings of implementing new technology are still unknown, according to Reischauer. He added that even though health IT will reduce redundancy in hospitals and physician practices, the monetary savings likely will be minimal.
The two economists’ testimonies were part of a larger discussion on ways to control the rising federal budget, Health IT Strategist reports (DoBias, Health IT Strategist, 1/31).