May 29, 2015

EHRs: ANOTHER OBAMACARE FAILURE: Another provision of Obamacare is proving to be utter nonsense, beyond the Democrat’s lies about keeping your doctor and your health plan if you like them.  This shouldn’t be all that surprising, given that the entire 1,200+ page law was rushed into law without any serious thought as to its consequences. Charles Krauthammer on “Why Doctors Quit“:

I hear this everywhere. Virtually every doctor and doctors’ group I speak to cites the same litany, with particular bitterness about the EHR mandate. As another classmate wrote, “The introduction of the electronic medical record into our office has created so much more need for documentation that I can only see about three-quarters of the patients I could before, and has prompted me to seriously consider leaving for the first time.”

You may have zero sympathy for doctors, but think about the extraordinary loss to society — and maybe to you, one day — of driving away 40 years of irreplaceable clinical experience.

And for what? The newly elected Barack Obama told the nation in 2009 that “it just won’t save billions of dollars” — $77 billion a year, promised the administration — “and thousands of jobs, it will save lives.” He then threw a cool $27 billion at going paperless by 2015.

It’s 2015 and what have we achieved? The $27 billion is gone, of course. The $77 billion in savings became a joke. Indeed, reported the Health and Human Services inspector general in 2014, “EHR technology can make it easier to commit fraud,” as in Medicare fraud, the copy-and-paste function allowing the instant filling of vast data fields, facilitating billing inflation.

That’s just the beginning of the losses. Consider the myriad small practices that, facing ruinous transition costs in equipment, software, training and time, have closed shop, gone bankrupt or been swallowed by some larger entity.

This hardly stays the long arm of the health-care police, however. As of Jan. 1, 2015, if you haven’t gone electronic, your Medicare payments will be cut, by 1 percent this year, rising to 3 percent (potentially 5 percent) in subsequent years.

Sounds good: Let’s force doctors to spend a lot of money to become technology dependent and adopt electronic health records when the old way of doing things was working just fine.  And hey–as a bonus, our health information is now more vulnerable to hacking and we can lose some privacy along the way! Electronic health records haven’t saved a single life or a single dollar, but they have created a lot of expense, confusion, and tremendous demoralization for our health care providers.  It wasn’t broken, and it shouldn’t have been “fixed.”  If the Republican Congress was smart, it would repeal this onerous, useless provision of Obamacare.

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