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Report questions stimulus bill health IT money

AP/Yahoo News, March 10, 2009

Billions of stimulus dollars meant to spur doctors to switch to electronic record-keeping may not be enough to do the job, according to a study by Avalere Health, an information company serving government and the healthcare industry. The stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama contained $19 billion for health information technology, including $17 billion for incentives and penalties to encourage doctors and hospitals to abandon paper record-keeping and go high-tech beginning in 2011. But particularly for doctors in small practices, the high cost of installing electronic records systems could outweigh the incentives and penalties for failing to comply, the analysis said.