Amid all the cheerleading and flag waving over EHRs and EMRs, comes a splash of reality for two practioners of the dismal science.

The widespread adoption of electronic prescriptions and electronic
health records may actually increase costs for health providers,
according to economists Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban
Institute, and Eugene Steuerle, a senior fellow from the institute, Health IT Strategist reports.

"I
don't think we know, on net, if [health IT] will save money," said
Steuerle at the Senate Budget Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Both
economists, however, agreed that health IT could make the health care
system safer and more efficient. Health IT will provide the basis for a
pay-for-performance program, but the cost savings of implementing new
technology are still unknown, according to Reischauer. He added that
even though health IT will reduce redundancy in hospitals and physician
practices, the monetary savings likely will be minimal.

[Hat tip: iHealthBeat]