Skip to comments.Guess What? Digitized Health Records Don't Save Any Money Like Obama Promised
Posted on 01/11/2013 4:09:04 PM PST by Kaslin
RUSH: The New York Times. I hate to break this to you. Do you remember when they were touting digitizing health records, making everybody's health records electronic so that they would be easily available to doctors and medical professionals? Of course, not scammers. They would never get them, of course not. Only the people that needed to see your health records would ever be able to. They'd take care of that.
They said, "It's gonna really make things cheaper. We have to do this because health care costs are just out of control, causing the deficit, causing the national debt. We've gotta get our arms around this." So the majority of people said, "Okay, fine. Go ahead. Let's digitize our records." Well, I hate to tell you, but the New York Times has a story on this. Here's the headline: "In 2nd Look, Few Savings From Digital Health Records."
Oh, no. Now, I remember when I first heard about this I didn't believe any of it. I heard about digitizing health records, and I warned everybody in the audience, "It isn't gonna save anybody any money. It's gonna cost money to do this, more than if we didn't, and it's not gonna help privacy. It's gonna be the exact opposite." I said it in a very confident, sure-of-myself way, which I'm sure made 24-year-old girls nervous.
Once again, I turned out to be right.
New York Times: "The conversion to electronic failed records has failed so far," Really? Duh! (laughing) "to produced the hoped-for savings in health care."
Do you realize nothing is accomplishing savings in health care?
RUSH: Something that you may not remember. You may not have known it to begin with. Some of the stimulus money, a significant amount of Obama's stimulus money, went into digitizing health care records. In fact, the stimulus created a whole new bureaucracy, The National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, to oversee digitizing health records. Now, remember why we did it. We did it to save money. What we were told was that digitizing health records would save money, and after it saved money, then it would make them immediately available on any doctor or nurse's computer, any medical professional's computer.
If you're in an emergency, medical emergency, and you're away from all the doctors who know you, your health records will be available immediately on any medical professional's computer and your treatment will be immediate. And this is going to save a lot of people. And people said, "What about theft of people's records? You start digitizing them and people are gonna know everybody's medical history." They assured us that wouldn't happen, and they assured us that we would save all kinds of money.
It now turns out, according to the New York Times, that evil doctors and hospitals are using this online network to overcharge for services. Yes, my friends. "Few Savings From Digital Health Records."
"The self-proclaimed 'newspaper of record' is re-writing history a little here. The only reason this Rand study was significant because, in March 2009, Obama claimed changing over to digital records would save $80 billion dollars a year. And he used this claimed $80B savings as a major selling point for Obamacare, which mandates the change over to digital records. And, yes, Obama based his claim on the Rand's study in 2005. But it was common knowledge that the study had been funded by interested parties," like GE and Hewlett-Packard and Xerox, crony capitalism, people that would benefit financially from the whole process of digitizing health records.
The New York Times even notes this in passing in their story. "Several top Harvard doctors pointed out in the Wall Street Journal immediately after Obama started touting the study," that it wasn't going to be save any money. And now it hasn't, and the New York Times, "Eh, you know what? On second look, there are few savings from digital health records. Well, what are we gonna do now? Too late now. We did it. Just want to let you people know there aren't going to be any health savings. Still don't worry about your privacy. It's not gonna be a problem." Right.
RUSH: Andrew, Mandeville, Louisiana, it's great to have you here. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. First I'd like to just thank you for the opportunity to talk on your show. I wanted to just make a comment about what you were talking about earlier on health care records.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: I'm a physician, and I've used a variety of different systems and just want to say that, you know, they're not necessarily this panacea that's gonna make everything better. It's still a relatively new technology that needs a lot of work, and also, that software development, as you may know and can be very, very labor intensive and expensive.
RUSH: The data input alone could take eons.
CALLER: Yeah, so a lot of these are too expensive and they don't add enough value to make it worth it for small --
RUSH: So why was there a big push to digitize health records, then?
CALLER: You know, I think you can speculate on that, but just as an aside, there's a variety of different things that computers come into play in health care, and things like getting laboratory data and looking at radiology, you know, X-rays and MRIs, that stuff is excellent, and almost everybody uses that anyway. The health record side, there's a lot more work that needs to be done with it. In some cases it's actually made things a little bit worse.
RUSH: Well, you're gonna have to need things like database insurance. What if somebody inputs incorrect data that results in you administering treatment that's not exactly called for? It's wide open for snafus.
That can’t be true....
it was written on the teleprompter.
The reason for EMR’s is data mining by insurance companies and .gov. To control costs by not paying if you do not do as they say. It is costly and killing small private practices. I know it is killing mine. I know what is happening and I am giving up.. In 2 months I am leaving my practice and becoming an employee of a hospital. Why? i can not keep the doors open with this mandate. Slows the practice down too much. Can not see enough patients to make enough cause of decreased income and increased cost. The hospital pays me much more. Work much less. No call. Payed vacation. I will get 4 weeks a year. I have not taken a week off for 16 YEARS. Not worth the fight anymore.
Assuming you have interpretive software ~ rather like the Star Trek Voyager's 'doctor' (played by Robert Picardo), you might make considerable savings by having previously digitized all the records but if you don't you still need a human doctor who will have to READ THOSE RECORDS ~ and that negates all the advantages.
The medical transcription field in America, which was 100,000 strong, has been destroyed by the implementation of EMR. The jobs have gone to India and the Philippines, although those countries do not impose the harsh fines for divulging confidential info that US MTs were subject to. This is a nightmare waiting to happen.
Of course it doesn’t make health care cheaper. It only gives the government unlimited access to information about you and your families.
Digitized records of ANY kind are subject to 1) computer hackers, 2) theft and 3) loss in the event of an EMP.
With paper records, you don't have to wonder what your doctor did the last time you were seen!
I was in the EMR/Electronic Medical Records industry in the mid-90’s, and can’t believe it’s taken us this long to get to their being a reality. I was an exec with one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
The key issue we saw then is that only a physician could truly develop a system that would function like he/she thinks. Today’s EMR is developed by software people trying to figure out how a physician thinks/works.
I have a close friend who is a physician with a major hospital in a major PA city that I was with a few weeks ago.
He told me that they have done internal research in their hospital showing that the use of EMR has caused their productivity to GO DOWN BY 30%!!!!
Obamacare will probably knock it down another 50%.......
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
well, i hate to rain on the parade, but from my perspective as a cancer patient, i see that EMRs allow the doc the ability to follow my meds, diagnostics, treatments, and procedures without having a sheaf of paper following me around. the labs that determine if i get chemo or not get transmitted and updates to me records in real time, allowing the doc to have results in 15 - 20 minutes.
i’d be waiting all day for a flunky to bring a folder by otherwize.docs do take time off, and the ones covering for him/her can update records from their one offices and the primary doc is able to see all this in my folder.
if there are problems, the records are backed up continously (redundant cloud storage) as they are for most buisness processes.
no one does payroll on paper anymore. face it, most everything important is recorded electronically, and thats mostly a good thing. i think the fear about snooping is just paranoia.
most modern enterprises of any size do much of any thing on paper.
this is mostly irrational fearmongering in my humble opinion.
And that is their only purpose, much like the purpose of the solar energy scam is to funnel taxpayer dollars to Democrat members of the big-government/big-corporate criminal complex.
Gosh!... I’m stunned. /s
I’ve begun to think that Rush has been the better for having Zero in the Off-White House. He’s making a good point that doesn’t really come across in the headline, and I want to put in my 2 cents.
Electronic health records have been coming about on their own, but federal recordkeeping requirements and foolish nanny-state lawsuit verdicts and settlement terms have become so onerous that it was probably bound to happen anyway. Having handled actual, as opposed to virtual, files for a significant fraction of my life, I’ll tell you right now, electronic health records are a much better way to go.
If the recordkeeping requirements were not so ridiculous, electronic versions still make more sense in our modern world where people don’t live in the same town as their parents, move every five years on average, and want their health info to make it to the ER when they’re unconscious awaiting care while 1500 miles from home and on vacation.
Curious where one goes for medical care if they don’t want a data minable record of their health for the government and insurance companies to peruse. Paging any doctor in NW PA that takes cash... platinum Trillion Dollar coins, bartereda ammo, chickens, or a remodeled bathroom for the wife. I think my heart is giving out... shortness of breath... pain in my neck and arms. I think I’ll just go euthanize myself with 5to million thousand gallons of whiskey.
Rodamala: There are still a few of us dinosaurs around who refuse to play the government game by converting to electronic records. Marcus Welby may be on death’s door, but he’s not kicked the bucket completely. The government will begin reducing payments to doctors who do not use EMR’s and electronic prescribing -— BUT for us, the cost of the reduced payments are much less than the cost to implement the system and maintain it ! Every practice manager and physician I have spoken to say the same thing... using EMR’s slows them down 30% minimum... while I didn’t go to Wharton, it doesn’t take a genius to know if your profit margin isn’t 30% you can’t stay around if you are slowed down 30%. One doc I know has EMRs... he works in office til 5 - goes home, eats dinner and does his “charts” on computers until about 1 am... then get’s up and begins again the next day... no family time, dinners with wife.. playing with kids... etc... Ain’t gonna happen at my office. We may have to go all cash... BUT we won’t go EMR... I think this system and requirement will fall by the wayside eventually as more and more of us tell them to take a flying leap just as Obama care will fall under it’s own weight... only difference is Obamacare will be replaced by something worse... governmental take-over and single payor (read that government control!).
The best days of America and American health care are behind us...
Do you mind me asking how old you are? 250K doctors are over 55, out of a total of about 600K doctors.
Here’s what most people don’t know about electronic health records:
The US Department of Health and Human Services offers incentive payments of up to $44,000 for providers who adopt a certified EMR program and provide electronic documentation that they are using it in a meaningful way, especially for Medicare or Medicaid patients. Part of “meaningful use” consists of collecting data about these patients and transmitting it to HHS.
You see? It’s all about getting data on a certain percentage of the patient population. It’s not difficult to see that in a few years the requirement will extend to all patients. The excuse is that if you stumble unconscious into the ER at 3 a.m., the ER staff can access your medical records electronically and know what preexisting conditions and problems you might have that would influence their treatment decisions. But this would only work if the records were not securely in your doctor’s office computers but were in a centralized database that any ER could access.
The idea of patient privacy or record security is ludicrous, too.
As a consumer/patient I dislike EMR.
When I go to the doctor now, in the EMR offices, the doctor no longer looks at you. His/her head is facing the computer and typing. I find that unpleasant and believe it is a good way to miss things. All the art of medicine is lost.
EMR can be much faster for doctors willing to use templates for ‘normal.’ One click and most of the record is filled in. Of course this is not great medicine and insurance companies don’t like it. But the temptation is there.
And the info they want isn’t necessarily medical. Some of the questions they now ask,
1. Do you use seatbelts in your car?
2. Is there a smoke alarm in your home?
3. Is there a carbon monoxide detector in your house?
4. Is there FIREARMS in your home?
Since when do these types of questions have to do with my dr caring for my stomach ache?
I agree, the doctor has access to all my records, medications, lab tests, other doctors i’ve seen and their results.
That allows her to be much more thorough and effective in the half hour to 45 minutes she spend with me in an office visit.
They sold the idea that digitized medical records as being more efficient, but the reality is that the purpose was for govt types to have unlimited access to our medical records. Also in obamacare, they have unlimited access to our bank records as well to make sure that we pay our medical bills in full. Also to see if anyone claims that they can’t pay their bills, then big brother can snoop on our bank account and if needed extract the funds to cover the bill. Yep it is in obamacare.
My thinking is take a look at what happened to Joe the Plumber. The beast went after him uncovering all kinds of records on him to embarrass him for argueing with baraq. Wanna bet that now medical records will be used by democrats to pummel their opposition? baraq got sealed records unsealed to win his US Senate seat, remember.
Yes - typist - AND mouse-ist too...... ;-)
Still... I am hoping for a good “country doctor”. I should be able to trust a professional with experience in the medical field, someone that isn’t worried because I am going to go and sue them. Very often I have been told that I have great intuition and a keen ability to notice the slightest change and that I should have been a doctor.
Right now I wonder what if I had gone to school to be a medical doctor instead of a professional engineer. Would there be a need for an old-school doctor? I know that the trend has been that everyone becomes a specialist... Is there not a need for a general practitioner anymore? I think there is, and I would gladly pay out of my own pocket for those services and tell the insurance companies and the government to stick it.
I would gladly pay out of my own pocket for those services and tell the insurance companies and the government to stick it.
Unfortunately, you are in the minority and few doctors can stay in business based on private pay = except those who cater to the wealthy only, and what does that leave for the rest? We have been conditioned to believe that medicine should be a “right” paid for by someone else... though food and shelter are not argueably less important we haven’t traditionally expected someone else to pay for our food or housing...but sadly for so many that philosophy is changing!
To answer your question, there is a great need for the traditional “country doctor”.. but the financial reality is at variance with the need. We are dumbing down health care by allowing lessor trained individuals to provide some level of care and will pay a price for this eventually, in lives, and morbidity.
I do not know, nor treat any engineers who would not have made excellent clinicians...analytical thinking is analytical thinking regardless the discipline!
I went to see my doctor last week for my checkup. He was telling me all about it. He's part of a hospital now, instead of the small group practice he was in. One of his partners retired rather than be part of it. The mandated computer system would have cost him $100K.
The government wants people to be employees of increasingly-large corporations. It makes us easier to keep under control. What is Communism but everybody working for a single huge corporation called the State?
But, it is not my age that is the problem. We just had a new out of residency doctor join our group last year. He tried using th EMR I have not. He left to work for a hospital and is behind 3 months on his charting!!!!
But, it is not my age that is the problem. We just had a new out of residency doctor join our group last year. He tried using the EMR I have not. He left to work for a hospital and is behind 3 months on his charting!!!!