Tag: "electronic medical records"

What Are We Getting for the $30 Billion We Are Spending On Electronic Health Records?

electronic-medical-recordIn 2009, the federal government budgeted $30 billion to incentivize doctors and hospitals to install electronic health records and use them “meaningfully”. Here are the results from Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital — one of the leading academic medical centers in the country:

Of 858 physicians, 540 (63%) were “meaningful users”. Meaningful use was associated with marginally better quality for 2 measures, worse quality for 2 measures, and not associated with better or worse quality for 3 measures.

Meaningful use of electronic health records was correlated with better control of cholesterol in patients with diabetes and of blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The meaningful-use group provided worse treatment of asthma and depression than the non-MU group did.

HT: Ken Terry, Medscape.

Hits and Misses

family-circleA child can have three genetic parents (and two potential paternity suits?).

Cuban doctors get a raise — to $67 a month

Smokers’ lungs are ok for transplantation.

Federal government spending on electronic health records now at $24 billion. (And doctors hate them).

Take The Money And Run? Some Hospitals, Physicians Dropping Out of Government Electronic Health Records Program

hospital money 300The 2009 HITECH Act authorized billions of taxpayers’ dollars be spent to pay hospitals and physicians “incentives” to adopt EHRs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the total tab will be $30 billion from 2011 through 2019. The Government Accountability Office has just reported on the results so far.

Not surprisingly, with so much money being spent, there was a lot of uptake: 45 percent of eligible hospitals had EHRs in 2011, versus 64 percent in 2012. For physicians and allied professionals, the share went up from 21 percent to 48 percent. However, the high net adoption rate disguises significant drop outs:

Specifically, within the 36 states that had completed their determinations of which providers would receive incentive payments for the 2012 Medicaid EHR program year, 61 percent of professionals and 36 percent of hospitals that participated in the Medicaid EHR program in 2011 did not continue in 2012. Sixteen percent of professionals and 10 percent of hospitals participating in the Medicare EHR program in 2011 did not continue to participate in 2012. (p. 23)

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

DespitMedicalRecordKeyboarde the government’s bribe of nearly $27 billion to digitize patient records, nearly 70% of physicians say electronic health record (EHR) systems have not been worth it.

One-third of the new Medicaid enrollees will be inmates, parolees or people just released from prison.

Moocs (massively open online classes) are not as easy to offer as you might think.

Accenture, the contractor urgently tapped to help fix the federal health-insurance website, has a history of troubled projects and allegations of ethical lapses.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Te1tu7pmwfxbajkvyuruhhe NSA collects 200 million text messages a day.

Electronic medical records: They don’t save money and they don’t improve quality, but they do allow hospitals to bill more. HT: Jason Shafrin.

Judge rewrites ObamaCare law to allow people to get tax subsidies in the federally run exchanges. See Background posted by Michael Cannon.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Harry Reid gets two Pinocchios for claiming that 9 million people are newly insured because of ObamaCare.

Inspector General for HHS: electronic medical records make fraud easier.

Back from a 17 day, $4 million vacation, President Obama is ready to talk about how much he dislikes income inequality.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

The White House was warned in advance by major insurers and others that the exchanges were not ready.

Once you finally make it into HealthCare.gov, it’s hard to get out.

112988578Turkey clamps down on cleavage.

Are the ObamaCare exchanges an invitation to fraud?

RAND study: electronic medical records are stressing doctors out. (gated)

White House and IRS exchanged confidential taxpayer information.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

The Obama Administration is hiding the Benghazi survivors, changing their names and dispersing them around the country.

The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year.

Most hospitals have implemented electronic medical records, but only 24% of consumers are making use of them, a new study shows.

Silver Plan vs. Bronze Plan Deductibles, and Other Links

ObamaCare insurance: deductible for the silver plan is $2,000; for the bronze plan it’s $5,000. (Karen Davis must be in mourning.)

The less you know, the easier it is to solve this puzzle.

Personalized medicine comes to psychiatry.

60% of Massachusetts doctors will not meet state electronic record mandate.

Denmark’s fat tax harms the economy and produces little change in behavior.

Your Medical Records Are an Open Book

Bloomberg is reporting that states hungry for revenue and flush with the power to requisition individual medical records are moving to capitalize on the value of that information by selling the information in them to all comers. Unlike private companies, states and their agents are exempt from HIPAA requirements and therefore do not have to take data privacy especially seriously.

In an experiment, researchers were able to match several dozen people with their supposedly de-identified medical records by combining public record searchers and the information in a sample group of records purchased for $50 from Washington State. Among other things, “an executive treated for assault was found to have a painkiller addiction,” and a “retiree who crashed his motorcycle was described as arthritic and morbidly obese.”

Bloomberg reports notes that states that exclude zip codes, and admission and discharge dates are less vulnerable to records identification. But even “de-identified” data sets contain significant personal information that could be used to identify individuals, especially in rural areas with small populations.