Barriers to Financing Clinical Information Systems

Author(s): Miller, Robert H.; D'Amato, Katherine; Oliva, Nancy; West, Christopher E.; Adelson, Joel W.

Release Date: June 5, 2009 | Last Updated Date: February 20, 2015


This report describes current barriers to financing health information technology as a tool for health care delivery. An earlier version of this report was commissioned by the Governor’s Health Information Technology Advisory Commission (HITFAC) and submitted to that body in May 2008. Principal researchers, Dr. Robert H. Miller, PhD and his research team at the University of California, San Francisco, describe and analyze information obtained from September 2007 through early May 2008.

Key findings include:

  • Many market segments in California’s healthcare delivery system lack financial health or credit worthiness for adoption of Clinical Information Systems and face a negative business case, or had low CIS adoption rates.
  • The highest priorities for potential CIS policy interventions should be:
    1. Community health center and similar organizations
    2. Public hospitals
    3. Unaffiliated rural hospitals
    4. Medi-Cal oriented solo and small group physicians.
  • The February 2009 passage of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) legislation has greatly increased federal funding available for Clinical Information Systems. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, as part of the ARRA, allocates $36 billion over six years for HIT.