Does Health IT Save Money and Lives? New Evidence from Vendor Heterogeneity
64 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2019 Last revised: 22 Jun 2019
Date Written: February 25, 2019
We examine how vendor heterogeneity and the timing of adoption affect EMR performance in U.S. hospitals. Although the government has invested billions to incentivize health information technology, there is little evidence showing that it is producing the anticipated effects. Based on a national sample and an IV approach, we find that the impact of EMR adoption on Medicare payments, various hospital charges, 30-day mortality, and adverse drug events varies substantially by vendor. Not all certified EMRs lead to cost savings and/or improved outcomes. Our results suggest that vendor differences matter and offer evidence to help inform the policy debate over government incentive programs for health IT adoption.
Keywords: Health IT, healthcare cost, patient outcome, Medicare
JEL Classification: H51, I11, I13, I18, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation