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Doctors seek out cure for inefficiency

Chicago Tribune, December 24, 2009

All the consolidation that took place in the healthcare industry in 2009 could have a surprising benefit for patients: greater strides toward efficiencies in customer service. That's because larger doctor practices that swallowed up smaller ones have deeper pockets to upgrade their information systems and other infrastructures, which the Obama administration is touting as part of healthcare reform and which studies have shown consumers are demanding. These upgrades include transferring medical records from shoe boxes and file cabinets to computer systems, as well as instituting a payment system that insurers increasingly use to tie how much doctors get based on their performance or their adherence to certain quality measurements.