Canada Doctors Reap ROI From EHRs

Read Health IT Investments Approach $500 Million In Q1 . ] Since implementing EHRs, for example, 67% of family physicians, office managers and specialists in Canadian province Saskatchewan report that their practices are more productive than they were earlier. And according to a pan-Canadian study cited by Infoway, physician office billings remained stable from the date of EHR implementation through an 18-month follow-up period. That study did not measure the numbers of patients seen, noted Jennifer Zelmer, senior VP of clinical adoption and innovation at Canada Health Infoway, in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare. But, like their U.S. counterparts, Canadian physicians receive most of their revenue from fee-for-service billing. So the data suggests that most doctors continued to see as many patients as they did before adopting EHRs, she said. The report cited another Canadian study showing that primary care physicians recouped their investment in electronic medical records (EMRs) within 10 months. “Fourteen of 17 primary care clinics had a positive return on their investments in EMRs and for those, time to break-even ranged from 1-37 months.” Of course, ROI depends partly on how much a practice has invested in its EHR. Operating through the provincial governments, Infoway has so far given $340 million to nearly 20,000 physicians for EHR implementation, Zelmer said. The organization is continuing to pay more to doctors who achieve “clinical value milestones” (similar to Meaningful Use) in their use of EHRs, she added. Some practices adopted EHRs before the subsidy programs began in different provinces, she said. So some doctors invested more in their systems than others did. The same is true in the U.S., where many physicians already had EHRs before the Meaningful Use program began. Canadian physicians, however, may have a leg up on U.S doctors in achieving ROI.

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Canadian doctors still make dramatically less than U.S. counterparts: study

commentPeriod:3! commentEndDate:6/6/11 8:46 EDT! currentDate:8/5/13 8:0 EDT! allowComments:false! displayComments:true! Meme-busting: Doctors are all leaving Canada to practice in the U.S. Posted by Aaron Carroll at 08:46 AM ET, 06/03/2011 TheWashingtonPost I got such a great response to yesterdays meme-busting post on tort reform and cost control that I decided to give you another. Every time I talk about health care policy with physicians, one inevitably tells me of the doctor he or she knows who ran away from Canada to practice in the United States. Evidently, theres a general perception that practicing in the United States is much more satisfying than in countries such as Canada. If only that were so. Lets start with the underlying rationale. Satisfaction is measurable. The Commonwealth Fund measured it in its Survey of Primary Care Physicians in 11 Countries, 2009: Perspectives on Care, Costs, and Experiences : Mail, phone, and e-mail survey of primary care physicians from February to July 2009 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States Samples: 1,016 Australia, 1,401 Canada, 502 France, 715 Germany, 844 Italy, 614 Netherlands, 500 New Zealand, 774 Norway, 1,450 Sweden, 1,062 United Kingdom, and 1,442 United States Heres what they found: Except for Austria and Germany, fewer doctors were satisfied practicing medicine in the United States in 2009 than in any other surveyed country. That includes Canada. And it was before health care reform, so you cant blame any dissatisfaction on the PPACA. They also asked physicians what they thought about the health care system (again this was before the PPACA): Except for Germany, more physicians in the United Sates felt that the system needed to be completely rebuilt than physicians in any other country. The United States tied with Germany for last with an overwhelming 82% of physicians who thought the system needed fundamental changes or to be completely rebuilt.

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Meme-busting: Doctors are all leaving Canada to practice in the U.S.

But Dr. Haggie voiced no particular envy Tuesday at the statistics just published in the journal Health Affairs , saying that factors other than money influence where doctors settle, including for some the appeal of Canadas universal, government-funded health system. A good salary package is an attractor, its a magnet but it doesnt always have the same effect at the other end when youre trying to retain people, said Dr. Haggie. The system in which (physicians) work is part of the attraction of working here. That migration to the U.S. has reversed in the last few years, with a small net influx of MDs from south of the border as incomes rose here, according to statistics and the accounts of medical recruitment agencies. The new studys authors, both health policy professors at New Yorks Columbia University, did the research to help detail why the cost of health care is so steep in the U.S. compared to other countries. It may partly reflect an American society where the mostly highly educated and skilled people in all fields tend to earn a bigger chunk of the overall wealth than similar groups in other countries, Miriam Laugesen, the lead researcher, said in an interview. Regardless, the 2008 figures that Prof. Laugesen and her colleague gathered offer a fascinating glimpse at the profession in six countries, with stark differences in payment between nations, and between private and public payors in those places that have two-tier systems. The average income after expenses, in U.S. dollars, for an orthopedic surgeon in the U.S.

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