I hope this is a good educational meeting as they need it. When this letter went out it was all over the web and about the lack of knowledge here on how the incentives and educational process was working. Electronic medical records no doubt are the way to go and I think that question was answered years ago as heck I was writing software for an EMR years ago myself. This is really sad that they don’t understand the investment here and I will go a little further to say that as on the “consumer” end they may not be participating much in their own care or maybe even as simple as paying attention to their own visits to their doctors. Otherwise I don’t we would have seen such a letter sent.
I guess they don’t read the news about hospitals walking a fine line today with trying to stay out of the red and stay in business as those hospitals, if if were not for the incentives couldn’t afford to transition to electronic records. Again maybe newspapers and all the articles and opinions written about this topic may not circulate in DC? How does one miss it?
If you happen to read Dr. Halamka’s blog from Harvard he too said they were wrong in their assumptions and he was much nicer than me and said he would gladly spend some time and bring them up to date. So bring the folks from the House who wrote the letter on over too:) You don’t get much better input than his for sure and they would be wise to take him up on his offer…from his blog…
Again I hope this ends up to be a productive meeting and perhaps they will learn more about the world of Health IT and perhaps the entire Government IT infrastructure while they are at it. I should add one more item in here too and this has been a campaign of mine for a while on taxing the data sellers who get the data for nothing and profits for free. When you look at the NICC situation and the people that have died due to the FDA not having enough staff to do routine inspections on drug and compounding companies in the US, don’t you think that Walgreens as an example would be happy to pay an excise tax on that revenue so they can be assured the FDA is on the job inspecting and ensuring we have safe drugs? Walgreen made short of $800 million on selling data in 2010, so see how big that pot can be when you include banks, high frequency trading companies, social network companies, etc. to license and have them pay a quarterly excise tax.
One more time….
“The short order code kitchen burned down a few years ago”
Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) of the Senate Finance Committee and Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) of the Senate Help, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (PDF) indicating that a recent briefing with the administration's staff was not long enough for lawmakers to get answers to all of their questions about the final rule for the second stage of the government's electronic health-record system incentive program. The program pays providers for adopting and meaningfully using EHR systems.
The lawmakers posed several questions they want members of the CMS and the ONC to address, including whether the use of taxpayer-subsidized EHRs increases the use of diagnostic tests rather than reduces them. They also ask in the letter whether some healthcare providers received subsidies for EHR systems that were already established before the adoption of federal standards and mandates, and whether the digitalization of records and adoption of EHRs have raised providers' billing of Medicare and consequently increased the cost of the program for taxpayers.