From a recent interview with Dr. David Blumenthal, [U.S.] National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Some sobering thoughts for physicians who might not have the gumption to opt in to “meaningful use” of electronic health records: If you don’t opt in, your practice won’t fetch a very good price when you want to retire and sell it to another physician.
Metaphorically, Dr. Blumenthal is telling every private physician in America to “eat your vegetables.” Will physicians in private practice do the right thing, or will we information-management professionals eventually get to “tut-tut” them for the data-management equivalent of patient non-compliance?
For older physicians, I think it's going to be almost impossible for them to replace themselves unless they have an information system that a younger physician can work with. Or, they'll have to discount the price of the practice, accordingly, because the younger physician will say 'I don't want this practice unless I can install an electronic health record.' It's a little bit like re-doing the roof, if you're buying a house: You give me a roof that leaks, I'm going to take that out of the purchase price. So I think there's another economic rationale.