Skip to comments.Obama's Electronic Medical Records Scam
Posted on 12/14/2012 3:59:39 AM PST by Kaslin
Here's more evidence that government "cures" are inevitably worse than the "diseases" they seek to wipe out. Buried in the trillion-dollar stimulus law of 2009 was an electronic medical records "incentive" program. Like most of President Obama's health care rules, this top-down electronic record-sharing scheme is a big fat bust.
Oversight is lax. Cronyism is rife. The job-killing and privacy-undermining consequences have only just begun.
The program was originally sold as a cost-saving measure. In theory, modernizing record-collection is a good idea, and many private health care providers have already made the change. But as with many government "incentive" programs, the EMR bribe is a tax-subsidized, one-size-fits-all mandate. This one pressures health care professionals and hospitals across the country into radically federalizing their patient data and opening up medical information to untold abuse. Penalties kick in for any provider that hasn't switched over by 2014.
So, what's it to you? Well, $4 billion has already gone out to 82,535 professionals and 1,474 hospitals, and a total of $6 billion will be doled out by 2016. But the feds' reckless profligacy, neglect and favoritism have done more harm than good.
Don't take my word for it. A recent report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General acknowledged that the incentive system is "vulnerable to paying incentives to professionals and hospitals that do not fully meet" the program's quality assurance requirements. The federal health bureaucracy "has not implemented strong prepayment safeguards, and its ability to safeguard incentive payments postpayment is also limited," the IG concluded.
Translation: No one is actually verifying whether the transition from paper to electronic is improving patient outcomes and health services. No one is actually guarding against GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). No one is checking whether recipients of the EMR incentives are receiving money redundantly (e.g., raking in payments when they've already converted to electronic records). No one is actually protecting private data from fraud, abuse or exploitation.
Little is being done to recoup ill-gotten payments. In any case, such "pay and chase" policing after the fact is a crummy way to run government in lean times -- or in fat times, for that matter.
As for the claim that the EMR conversion will reduce paperwork, many doctors say the reality is just the opposite. In Greensboro, N.C., Dr. Richard Aronson told local TV station FOX 8 that the mandate doubled the amount of paperwork in his private practice. Everyone from optometrists to general practitioners to chiropractors to podiatrists must divert precious time and resources to conforming with Washington health bureaucrats' imposed vision. Some medical professionals are now warning that the dangerous phenomenon of "distracted doctoring" is on the rise as a result of data-driven imperatives that direct health care providers' attention away from their patients and onto their screens and hand-held devices.
You know who is benefiting from the initiative? Put on your shocked faces: Obama donors and cronies.
Billionaire Judith Faulkner, Obama's medical information czar and a major Democratic contributor, just happens to be the founder and CEO of Epic Systems -- a medical software company that stores nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population's health data. Another billion-dollar patient-record database grant program has doled out money to the University of Chicago Medical Center (where first lady Michelle Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett both served in high-paid positions). As I've previously reported, these administration grants circumvent any and all congressional deliberation as part of Team Obama's election-year "We Can't Wait" initiatives.
Even as the White House touted the move toward gee-whiz 21st-century electronic databases, health care professionals in the know have debunked that claim, too. Companies like Faulkner's, which lobbied loudest for the mandates and "incentives," represent traditional hard drive-dependent software firms that are already dated. As Athenahealth Chairman and CEO Jonathan Bush, who advocates cloud-computing alternatives, put it: The Obama electronic records mandate is "healthcare information technology's version of cash-for-clunkers."
Then there's the still-growing and untold number of doctors nationwide who are closing up shop or limiting their practices and converting to "concierge care" to escape this and myriad other Obamacare intrusions. My own primary care physician in Colorado Springs quit her regular practice and converted to "concierge care" because of the EMR imposition. Creve Coeur, Mo., doctor Shari Cohen made the same move.
"The demands of caring for my patients while navigating through the current health care delivery systems dictated that I take more and more time away from patient care and spend an increasing part of my day on the system itself," she told the Creve Couer Patch. "Electronic Medical Records was the final shove for me. It added another whole layer in interference in the doctor-patient relationship and one I was not sure I wanted to take on."
More paperwork. More waste. Less accountability. Less care. Government malpractice at work.
The VA does electronic records and the military does too now. I kinda like it. You can go to any VA and get immediate treatment and they have the history. I liked that the military had electronic because so many Sailors would lose their medical record and have to start all over again with SHOTS...very costly for the government on their irresponsibility. This is actually an incredibly great idea that the government came up with. I know we all hate government but some ideas are just good and this is one of them.
I am with you. I honestly think Ms Malkin is off on this one.
Forget about electronic medical records.
This is another slush fund setup to ensure DNC victories into the next century.
There is no convincing data that shows EHR improve patient outcomes. The systems are many upgrades away from being useful. Very expensive. Very cumbersome. Productivity plummets when they are introduced into health systems. Why would any organization/business turn its most highly compensated employees into clerical workers? Clearly modernization of records will occur and should but forcing it into the system by the government as usual is not working.
The trial lawyers know it. They are already suing for mistakes made because of the changes.
My wife works in the medical field. The group she works for switched over to electronic records to take advantage of the incentives. Now she is no Bill Gates on software but her description of this software tells me it was produced by the lowest bidder. She must re-boot several times a day when her keyboard locks out, like every time she leaves the computer for a while. Some records of previous visits just disappear and show patient as a new one. It is now more time consuming than with the old program and that doesnt include time when it is just down.
One reason why this administration and his allies like these records is because they can use it against citizens. If you ever consult a doctor over depression issues or have any kind of subscription to drugs such as prozac, zoloft, etc, I can guarantee you that information will end up in these records and will automatically move your name to the “no-buy” list with the ATF. This will be used to automatically deny people their 2nd Ammendment rights and it will disqualify huge numbers of American citizens. This is their revenge against the Supreme Court ruling in the summer of 2008.
Not sure how anyone can pin this on Obama, the HiTech Act happened under Bush and I believe, Clinton before him. It was simply signed by Obama.
It’s another ridiculous bubble building government program. There are more companies selling EHR applications now than there has ever been for any other application in the history of man, 400+ or so. Can you imagine 400 different web browsers, word processors, etc?
It’s a $20 billion spend in a healthcare system that costs are already out of control. Why? To gain control of the citizens health data and give government power over doctors and their patients. Meanwhile, CMS doesn’t have enough money to pay docs for care.
BTW, the Feds are also spending great deals of money on incentivizing “electronic prescriptions” and “quality reporting” at the same time they are dropping reimbursement for actual medical care. So, hundreds of billions of dollars are wasted and new government entities are empowered at the same time the government is broke and doesn’t have enough money to pay docs for medical care.
This fails the common sense test as does most government ideas. Anybody that thinks this is a good idea is either in the business, or not a conservative.
I agree. Couple this now ‘government information’ with
U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens
They have everything they need to call every citizen a criminal on some level.
“The VA does electronic records and the military does too now. I kinda like it. You can go to any VA and get immediate treatment and they have the history. I liked that the military had electronic because so many Sailors would lose their medical record and have to start all over again with SHOTS...very costly for the government on their irresponsibility. This is actually an incredibly great idea that the government came up with. I know we all hate government but some ideas are just good and this is one of them.”
You really should rethink this one. It’s not an idea, it’s a mammoth, non-free enterprise, goverment created bubble that takes power away from private citizens.
....depends on WHERE the VA is located. Here in Jersey it’s a mess. I’m told by a long time VA worker that over half of the employees at the two locations don’t have a clue of what their doing when it comes to finding their way around the system. I dealt with an employee who kept telling me “the system was down” when in fact looking over her shoulder, I was watching another navigate fairly well.
They also say they can’t just print out a request for records which I know is BS because I had a nurse do just that a week later. Everything is WAIT
Now the latest bit of info I got was that the government or VA is deciding which of the two to close down, while we (VETS) were told the waiting period for any request is because of volume of requests.
Four months for an assessment,(appointment) that was changed twice by them (put back)that lasted 2 hours and could have been done in 20 minutes, (blood pressure,ear exam,chest xray, blood work) three of which I get done regularly with sched’ appointments with their doctor seems wasteful. Whatever you do, don’t complain, your appointments will suddenly have a longer waiting period. It’s a total mess here in Jersey
Searching through VA records for impottant info is a nightmare!! I’m a physician and do it daily. I know.
Searching through VA records for important info is a nightmare!! I’m a physician and do it daily. I know.
MM is correct it is “distracted doctoring”!
EMR takes a difficult job, tending to the sick and injured in a busy ER and makes it an impossible task.
All for the benefit of the watchers, not the doers.
With ERM I am 25% doctor and 75% ward clerk as I have to order all the lab tests on computer, order the suture trays and when I need a foley cath placed, I order that on the computer and dressings and antibiotic ointments. They do not make me order a change of linen between patients, but I suspect it is coming around the bend.
Yeah, the hospital got a million dollars to implement the EMR and all I got was the inner ward clerk released from my deep recesses.
Job satisfaction down after 25 years practice.
I made the mistake of asking if there was a “on call” list, where a Vet could be on call if another appointment was cancelled to fill the spot...you would have thought I stumbled upon a secret. When I asked my friend “what’s up with that?” he said, that’s the game they play to “open” time for themselves during the day. Cancelling an appointment gets you two hours of free time......call for information to the specific office and get told by a recording to leave a message, then be told by another recording that that mailbox is full,call back later....so the trick is call another department, tell them you can’t get into the place you want to contact, (give them the person)...they page the specific person you want to get to, NOW they pick up, put you on hold, and you conduct your business,IF THE SYSTEM IS UP.
I currently have an appointment that was originally scheduled for Oct 16th...my newest date is Dec 19th, that appointment was changed three times by them
Hey, your connected to one of the better locations...
Our son’s wife’s father is a family doctor and he is part of a private country practice that computerized records even before the federal push. He loves the way it allows him to keep track of his patients, even if they become ill on vacations. Of course, he is the diligent sort who actually *reads* every one of his patient’s records forwarded to him. He told us the county hospitals used to never notify him when a patient was admitted or sent test results only after their office called. Now he claimed he has almost instant access to information. You could see the joy on his face!