Connecting healthcare providers to a national health information network, one of the major goals of the Bush administration, will cost more than four times the current rate of expenditures on health IT -- $156 billion in capital investment over the next five years and $48 billion in annual operating costs, a new study estimated. Hospitals as an industry will bear $53 billion of the capital costs, largely to implement needed functionality, such as electronic medical records, according to the study. Physician practices will invest almost an equal amount, $50 billion, mostly to achieve interoperability. The bulk of that cost will be born by physicians in one- to four-member practices, the study found. The study, appearing in Tuesday's Annals of Internal Medicine, reflects the opinion of a panel of IT experts. -- by Joseph Conn
Nation spending too little to reach IT goals: report
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