Digital Health Physician Compensation

Will physicians adopt digital health innovations?

The answer is ‘maybe’. Some are scarred by the distance between the hype and reality of electronic health records (EHR), which promised both improved efficiency for practices and superior patient health outcomes. In practice–especially in the short-turn–EMR resulted in a lot of both direct and data entry cost to practices with limited interoperability and modest benefits to patients.

So what factors will physicians take into account when adopting a new digital health innovation? According to the American Medical Association, there are 3 main factors:

  • Effort: how seamless will the integration of this innovation be for my practice?
  • Patient Outcome: what is the value to patients?
  • Finance: how much will it benefit my practice?

Regarding the first point, Andrea Houlihan, an AMA senior research analyst, stated that “Physicians don’t have the time to make partial solutions work.” To address the third point–getting paid for their time–the AMA has created the Digital Medicine Payment Advisory Group (DMPAG), which aims to advise reimbursement policy for remote monitoring and other digital technologies.

While digital technologies have the promise to significantly improve patient care, the only way this promise becomes a reality is if physicians and other health care providers are incentivized to use them. 

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