Are the benefits from a national network of electronic health records worth $200 Billion?
UPDATE: For comparison purposes of how much $200 Billion is see this post at Hospital Impact.
According to a article citing a research study funded by the Commonwealth Fund and the Harvard Interfaculty Program for Health Systems Improvement the estimated coast would be $156 billion to build the system and $48 billion annually to run it.
Dr. David Brailer, National Healthcare IT Coordinator, who is directing the federal government's efforts to improve health care technology believes the estimates are high. The article states the following:
"We know it's in the billions of dollars, perhaps in the tens of billions of dollars, and possibly even the hundreds of billions," Brailer said. "But the principle question is not how much it is. It's how do we create incentives to involve the private sector and prevent the federal government from financing it all. We want it to be market-driven."
Brailer noted that the researchers relied on expert estimates — not primary data.
He estimated that the current spending throughout the federal government on health information networks totals about $4 billion a year. He believes the estimate of $156 billion in startup costs and $48 billion in operating costs to be on the high end of what the system would actually total.
Thanks to the HIPAA Blog for pointing out this article.