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Editorial
June 2015

Electronic Health Records and OphthalmologyA Work in Progress

Author Affiliations
  • 1Glaucoma Center of Excellence, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Division of Health Sciences Informatics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015;133(6):633-634. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.0913

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act adopted in 2009 was designed to increase the use of electronic health records (EHRs) by US health care professionals and hospitals via a system of incentive payments. As of December 2014, almost 340 000 professionals received these payments via Medicare and almost 170 000 professionals received payments via Medicaid. These professionals received more than $10 billion in payments for EHR use.1 As intended, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act has had a clear effect on the adoption of EHRs, with the most recent estimates showing almost 80% of US physicians using one.2 These incentive payments for the meaningful use of EHRs will end in 2016 and professionals who choose not to use an EHR will begin to experience penalties that may increase to 4% of payments from Medicare by 2018. Therefore, it is a reasonable time to determine where ophthalmology stands in terms of the adoption and effect of EHRs.

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