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Understanding ObamaCare and HIT Data Breaches

[By Darrell K. Pruitt DDS]

1-darrellpruittTwo current topics in the HIT industry: (1) A dishonest 2005 RAND study set up lawmakers for disappointment in electronic health records, which are essential to Obamacare, and (2) I told you so.

The Reports

Just the other day, there were reports of two data breaches of EHRs involving over 734,000 patients in Texas and California.

http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2013/10/23/health-facilities-in-california-texas-report-health-data-breaches

For reasons like this, the wisdom of an ambitious mandate for paperless healthcare by 2014 is beginning to be questioned by the same lawmakers who were sucked in years ago by RAND’s tainted 2005 study.

According to the vendor-friendly results gleaned from vendor-friendly data supplied by vendors, EHRs should have started saving 100,000 lives and $77 billion a year, years ago. Predictably, that has not happened. Far from it!

The Findings 

The happy findings – discredited even by RAND in January of this year – were paid for by Cerner and GE, who profited immensely from their RAND investment. Since nationwide adoption of EHRs became a bi-partisan goal with bubbly beginnings and millions of campaign dollars, the costs and danger of healthcare IT didn’t appear to bother conservatives until three months after RAND admitted the study was garbage.

In April, six GOP senators, led by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), released a detailed report criticizing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ execution of a $35 billion initiative to promote EHRs as part of the ARRA stimulus package. (See: “GOP senators raise concerns with push for electronic medical records,” by Sam Baker, April 16, 2013, The Hill).

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/294273-gop-senators-raise-concerns-with-push-for-electronic-medical-records

Wither ARRA?

Have you ever wondered why ARRA was passed as a jobs bill rather than as part of healthcare reform? Any ideas?

More recently, with the conservatives’ failure to stop Obamacare even by shutting down government, EHRs have become recognized as the ACA’s next best weakness. Yesterday, Greg Scandlen, writing for RightSideNews.com, posted “The Tyranny of Electronic Systems.” It goes downhill from there.

http://www.rightsidenews.com/2013102333379/life-and-science/health-and-education/the-tyranny-of-electronic-systems.html

Even More

Also yesterday, Michelle Mailkin writing for Townhall.com, an ultra-conservative website similar to RightSideNews, posted, “Don’t Forget Obamacare’s Electronic Medical Records Wreck.

http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2013/10/23/dont-forget-obamacares-electronic-medical-records-wreck-n1730172?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel

Assessment 

Conservatives found traction: Without the anticipated healthcare savings from EHRs, Obamacare will not survive. These times are not as happy for EHR stake-holders as RAND led them to expect.

Conclusion

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4 Responses

  1. Bad news about EHRs means bad news about Obamacare

    “Docs blame EHRs for lost productivity – Also ding them for inappropriate user interfaces, inefficient processes and more,” by Mike Miliard, Managing Editor Healthcare IT News.

    http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/docs-blame-ehrs-lost-productivity

    Miliard writes:

    “Nearly 60 percent of ambulatory providers surveyed for a new IDC Health Insights report say they’re unsatisfied with their electronic health records, citing frustrations with usability and workflow.” He adds, “IDC’s new study, ‘Business Strategy: The Current State of Ambulatory EHR Buyer Satisfaction,’ polled 212 ambulatory and hospital-based providers. It found that while the adoption of EHRs is widespread, the experience of most who use them ‘is one of dissatisfaction.”

    Yet the funding of Obamacare was predicated upon a now-discredited RAND study, funded by EHR vendors, which promised $77 billion in healthcare savings from EHR adoption. The vendors made millions, but Americans can expect make up the cost difference in higher taxes and/or higher medical bills.

    We’ve been had.

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

    Like

  2. Healthcare IT Professionals Opinions on Analytics Adoption

    Six out of 10 respondents to a survey by Health Catalyst rated their own organizations’ maturity in analytics adoption at between 0 and 2 on a scale of nine. At that level, the organizations’ analytics would fail to meet the requirements of federal “meaningful use” regulations and emerging value-based reimbursement models.

    Only 2.6 percent of survey respondents rated their organization as having achieved one of the top two levels of analytics adoption.

    Respondents had an even lower opinion of the analytics maturity of the healthcare industry as a whole. Seventy-six percent rated the industry’s adoption of analytics as falling in one of the three lowest levels of the maturity model. Only 3 percent of respondents felt the industry had achieved Level 5 or higher on the analytics adoption maturity scale.

    Source: Health Catalyst

    Like

  3. Why physicians need to worry about healthcare data breaches in 2014?

    Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies have the worst cyber security among the S&P 500, and could suffer from wide-scale security breaches in 2014 similar to those experienced by retail companies such as Target and Neiman Marcus, according to a recent report.

    http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/healthcare-and-pharma-cyber-security-rated-worst-sp-500

    Fred

    Like

  4. RAND was way wrong

    Ebola could prove that 9 years ago, RAND was even more optimistic about EHRs than anyone dared to imagine.

    UPDATED: “EHR caused Dallas hospital to miss Ebola diagnosis – According to the hospital, a flaw in its electronic medical record resulted in the error. ‘We have identified a flaw in the way the physician and nursing portions of our electronic health records (EHR) interacted in this specific case. In our electronic health records, there are separate physician and nursing workflows,’ Texas Health officials said in a statement. ‘As designed, the travel history would not automatically appear in the physician’s standard workflow.’”

    By Tammy Worth for HealthcareDive.com
    [October 3, 2014]

    http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/updated-ehr-caused-dallas-hospital-to-miss-ebola-diagnosis/316664/

    So instead of EHRs saving 100,000 lives a year as promised according to the results of a 2005 RAND study that even RAND later disowned, the nation is currently uncertain whether the government-mandated, Meaningfully Used, Obamacare-ready EHR system at a Dallas hospital has already caused the spread of the ebola virus in the New World.

    Instead of EHRs and ebola, Spaniards surprised Native Americans with Christianity and measles, and they crossed the Atlantic on slow-moving sailing ships.

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

    Like

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