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Electronic medical billing may inflate payments

The Dartmouth, October 4, 2012

Although former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama have granted tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies to hospitals that implement electronic medical records to increase hospital efficiency and patient safety, these records may be contributing to increased billings, according to Medicare data analyzed by The New York Times. While the Justice Department and other federal regulatory agencies are investigating instances of potential fraud, analysts at the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care — a research group run through The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice that analyzes variations in health care delivery — say that this correlation likely reflects underlying flaws in Medicare’s fee-for-service payment system.