Electronic Medical Record Policy and the Future of Health Care in the United States
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The federal government has committed over $20 billion for the specific purpose of encouraging the adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs). Though the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers reimbursement for early adopters, many medical professionals find that this does not cover recurring maintenance and labor costs. In an effort to avoid the high costs and inconveniences of EMR adoption, many medical professionals are choosing to leave private practices. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expands health insurance coverage to millions of Americans, but not without changes to the organization of the health care industry. The inclusion of policies pertaining to electronic medical records in major pieces of legislation is a major factor in the changing structure of the health care market.