Kelly Mclendon RHIA censors D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

By Darrell K. Pruitt; DDS

Dateline: 8.15.09


Dear Kelly Mclendon, Registered Health Information Administrator

You are beginning to make me feel insulted, and I will not have that. I just noticed that the last two comments I submitted to your Website,, on August 9 and 10, are still “awaiting moderation.” 

(For clarity, the comments which scared Mr. Mclendon are copied below) 

Over five days have passed, and I want you, your readers and my readers to know that I spent a lot of time preparing those two pieces exclusively for you at your invitation for comments. You are as sincere as I am, aren’t you? 

When I’ve caught others in the squeeze you might be experiencing, several have pleaded that the censorship was an innocent oversight, and did the right thing immediately by posting everything I send them (include this comment, please). And then again, there are a few slow-learning, command-and-control types who think they cam still somehow control the content of their Websites. Like you, Kelly, an anonymous editor whom I call “Nancy” by default, also informed me that my comments were awaiting indefinite moderation. What a foolish, rookie mistake that proved to be. For example, if you google “,” my article “ hates D. Kellus Pruitt DDS” is their 4th hit. It seems to be very popular. 

How’s this for the title of a comment that should make it to your first page by Monday: “Kelly Mclendon RHIA censors D. Kellus Pruitt DDS”? Please, no phone calls. 

D. Kellus Pruitt; DDS 

Dateline 8.9.09 

I’m sure physicians’ businesses are no different than dentists’ when it comes to the liability of data breaches – especially considering the giddy, mindless momentum of HITECH-empowered HIPAA. If a computer is stolen in a burglary, compromised by a dishonest employee who sells IDs on the side, or otherwise hacked, and the dentist reports the tragedy according to the letter of the law, it inevitably means bankruptcy even before the feel-good fines are levied by HHS (HIPAA) and the FTC (Red Flags Rule) for not having required irrelevant documentation of administrative trivia in order. What were our lawmakers thinking? 

I guess the HIPAA blunder proves that when politicians, insurers and healthcare IT entrepreneurs get together in vendor clubs like CCHIT, the only government-approved eHR certification authority, they can mandate damn well any law that suits their needs. 

Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman, who is an influential friend of Barack Obama as well as a Trustee of CCHIT told reporter Alex Nussbaum in an interview almost a year ago that providers should make the financial commitment “to ensure that doctors have some skin in the game.” 

Glen Tullman is only one reason our nation’s healthcare IT industry stinks from the top down. 

D. Kellus Pruitt; DDS

Dateline: 8.10.09 

Thank you, Kelly Mclendon, for providing a rare venue to possibly clear up a few items of uncertainty about eHRs in dentistry. First of all, if a technological advancement such as eDRs does not pay for itself, even with government subsidies, who pays for it? That seems like a quick way to increase the costs of dental care – and for what? How do dental patients benefit from expensive HIT solutions when the telephone, fax machine and US Mail serve us fine? 

Digitalization of records offers no benefits to dental patients. Only stakeholders who would grab our patients’ money benefit from HIT. Everyone else loses. Trusting, naive dental patients lose the most. 

Electronic dental records are expensive hazards. If you can think of a lame reason for them, please let me hear it. You can bet I’ve crushed it before. I’ve been down this road with others many, many times. 

Within a week, the government will price computerization smooth out of dentistry. Over 90% of dentists have patient identities on their computers today. If HIPAA is enforced, with or without the Red Flags Rule, I predict that less than half of the nation’s dentists will be computerized a year from now. 

As for your argument that eHRs somehow provide up-to-date and otherwise superior medical histories for dental patients, think about this: If someone changes a paper medical history, it leaves a paper trail. If an insurance thief alters allergies on a digital record to suit his or her own needs, nobody in the emergency room can tell. Whoever said “Paper kills,” lied. It is a catchy PR pitch, though.


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Health Plan Management Navigator

August 2009 Edition

By Douglas B. Sherlock; CFA, MBALibrary

Linked below is the August 2009 edition of Plan Management Navigator. In this month’s edition, we update readers on the results for the Blue Cross Blue Shield universe, and provide product breakouts, summary functional area breakouts as well as expense trends. Cost increases are lower this year than last, though higher if product mix is considered. Twenty-two Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans serving 31.3 million members participated in this year’s benchmarking study.  Growth in Information Systems and Medical Management costs explained more than 40% of the total increase.

Link: Navigator August 09

Sherlock Expense Evaluation Report

This analysis is based on materials from our Sherlock Expense Evaluation Report (SEER) for Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans. Additional information about SEER is available at or by contacting us.


In coming weeks, Plan Management Navigator will summarize other results of this year’s performance benchmarking studies. We expect to publish Medicare and Medicaid editions in late August or early September. Independent / Provider-Sponsored plan results were published two weeks ago in Plan Management Navigator and the associated presentation and transcript are found at


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