Wednesday, February 16, 2005

77 Billion Dollar Savings / Year

Study: Standardized Health Network Could Save $77 Billion a YearFebruary 02, 2005
A standardized and interoperable national health care information network could save the U.S. health care system $77.8 billion annually, according to a study by the Center for Information Technology Leadership, Health-IT World News reports. This represents three times the savings that a network without standardization would yield. A network that is not standardized would have only limited benefits over the electronic exchange of paper records via fax or other low-level technology, according to the study. The study found that an interoperable, standardized network would provide the greatest benefits for large hospitals and physician practices, which would save about $33.5 billion annually 10 years after implementation, while health care payers would save about $21.6 billion a year, Health-IT World News reports. The study found that while a standardized exchange is initially expensive, it would begin to produce positive results by the fifth year of implementation, Health-IT World News reports. According to the study, a nonstandard implementation might seem cheaper, but it can accumulate costs from constant maintenance and its numerous interfaces, Health-IT World News reports. "If you want to go electronic at all, don't get tempted into doing a nonstandard thing," said CITL senior analyst Dr. Eric Pan.CITL looked at the costs and benefits of electronic data flow between health care providers and laboratories, radiology centers, pharmacies, payers and public health departments, Health-IT World News reports. It published its findings last week in the journal Health Affairs (Versel, Health-IT World News, 2/1).

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