...evidence of significant savings is scant, and there is increasing concern that electronic records have actually added to costs by making it easier to bill more for some services. Health care spending has risen $800 billion since the first report was issued, according to federal figures...With savings from EHR in question, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) may raise concerns about incentive payments through Medicare to medical providers for the EHR transition. Healthcare providers and hospitals were paid $6.3 billion in 2012 alone, up from $2.3 billion in 2011. Participation in the program by eligible providers approximately tripled from 2011 to 2012 matching the increase in incentive payments. However, the GAO reports that not quite "half of eligible hospitals and less than a third of eligible professionals received Medicare EHR incentive payments for 2012," so participation is far from universal.
While the maximum incentive payment to a hospital in 2012 was $4.7 million, the median amount was $1.4 million. The median payment to individual health care professionals was $18,000.
Note: A version of this article first appeared at The Weekly Standard.