A new research study found that Electronic Health Record (EHR) implementation can result in reduced patient volume but can increase revenue over the long term. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, the study found that practices’ reimbursements increased “significantly,” even as their number of patient visits declined.
For the study, researchers from Drexel University compared patient volume and reimbursement at 30 ambulatory practices in the two years after EHR was implemented.
The researchers wrote that they did not find any indication of “upcoding or increased reimbursement rates to explain the increased revenues”, but rather suggest the EHRs are enabling providers to focus on the patients that need the most care.
They noted that their finding of increased revenues “is reassuring and offers a basis for further EHR investment”, while their finding of decreased patient volume indicated that EHR systems were increasing practices’ efficiency.
They recommended that any practices continuing to see declines in patient volume two years after implementing EHR systems should add analytics functionality to their EHR system to “focus on seeing the right patients”.