Bay Area Doctors Early Adopters of Records System
A physician group in San Francisco and San Mateo counties is the first medical group to sign up for a no-cost, Web-based electronic health records system developed by Practice Fusion, a San Francisco company, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Physicians Integrated Medical Group, an association of about 500 independent physicians, within the next 45 days will let physicians manage billing electronically and later will allow physicians to use the system to manage patients' health records.
Jim Rodriguez, CEO of the medical group, said 70% to 80% of physicians in his group have some form of computerized billing system but that fewer than 15% use EHRs.
EHR systems typically cost physicians at least $20,000 to install, but Practice Fusion last week announced a deal with Google to offer the service at no cost to physicians by partnering with Google's AdSense network. When a physician uses the EHR system, AdSense will recognize certain keywords and display ads related to that condition.
Alternatively, physicians can use the EHR system without ads for a $250 monthly fee.
Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion, said the company will comply with federal privacy laws.
Pharmaceutical companies are expected to be the main advertisers, but Howard said insurers and other health-related companies also could find the model appealing (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/16).