One of the many aims of EMR implementation is to decrease the liability. However, because usage is still at such a low percentage yet, medical liability insurers have no proof that it in fact cuts down on risk.
Many insurance carriers feel there are not enough practices using EMRs yet to measure how effective the systems are at decreasing liability.
Worry now is that in fact physicians will be open to even more risk because of all that is entered into the record.
No EMR discount has been offered by PRA yet.
The medical liability insurance generic name for ventolin in australia company, Professional Risk Associates sponsored a survey in 2007 to make a case for decreasing premiums for providers that implement EMRs into their practice. It found that 45% of the 115 practices surveyed believed that EMRs made them less vulnerable and 20% received discounts.
The market manager for Professional Risk Associates, Jennifer Jones, stated, “We feel there are a lot of benefits to EMR adoption but there are many downsides too.” 20% had liability cases where EMRs were used for documentation and 55% of those felt that the EMR was helpful.
While CMIC, an insurance company in Connecticut and Massachusetts is not sure whether risk is decreased; it is decreasing the premium rates for those using EMRs to increase implementation rates for healthcare providers. Susan Sperzel, director of claims operations and loss prevention confirmed that the company provides a 5% discount for each physician in practices that are using EMR certified systems for a year.
The downside is found in the alerts that EMR generates or additional information that a physician may not act upon. Former chair of the medical malpractice section of DRI, an organization for defense attorneys, Bruce Cranner points out that EMR default settings may not allow physicians to add information to medical records that could be essential to defense at a later date.
Other members of the legal team fear that too much information entered into the program may increase risk.
Most agree however that EMRs will ultimately lower malpractice cases. Dr. Troxel of the Doctors Company, a physician-owned liability insurance carrier stresses “Every insurance company bases premiums on their loss experience, so fewer cases filed mean lower premiums for doctors”.