Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for the 'Healthcare IT' Category

Why a national EMR may never happen in the U.S.

Technophiles pine for the data when any hospital or clinic can access all your health information from a single source.  Due to competitive pressures, however, it is unlikely that a national EMR will emerge in the near future.  Miller and Tucker (JHE 2014) explain: We find empirically that larger hospital systems are more likely to […]

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Hospital Adoption of EHR

Rising, but penetration is still far below 100%. Courtesy of Health Affairs. Source: Catherine M. DesRoches, Dustin Charles, Michael F. Furukawa, Maulik S. Joshi, Peter Kralovec, Farzad Mostashari, Chantal Worzala and Ashish K. Jha. Adoption Of Electronic Health Records Grows Rapidly, But Fewer Than Half Of US Hospitals Had At Least A Basic System In […]

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Is the “Online Health Clinic” the Wave of the Future?

HealthPartners argues that the answer is yes. In a 2013 Health Affairs article, they argue the following: HealthPartners in Minnesota launched an online clinic called virtuwell in late 2010. After more than 40,000 cases, we report an average $88 lower cost per episode compared with care received in traditional settings, strong indicators of clinical effectiveness, […]

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Is EHR a Money Loser for Physicians?

In most cases, the answer is yes. Policymakers, however, have been very excited about EHR and for good reason.  For instance, the  Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the 2009 stimulus package, provided direct dollars to doctors and hospitals who adopt and “meaningfully use” an EHR system. A paper by Milstein, Green […]

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Are Electronic Health Records Cost Effective?

It depends on who you ask. In the private market without health insurance, the answer is maybe.  Do patients value the ability for physicians (and hospitals) to rapidly review their records more than it cost the physician to install them?  If so, then they would be cost-effective as physicians could cover their cost by charging […]

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Medical Billing: Taiwan vs. U.S.

How long do you think it takes for physicians and hospitals to bill an insurer for a service?  Uwe Reinhardt notes that the answer depends on where you live.   If you are in the U.S.: In the United States, claims settlement for medical procedures under private health insurance can take up to three months; […]

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Consumer Satisfaction with Healthcare Websites

ForeSee released a study showing which kinds of healthcare-oriented websites do the best job satisfying customers. Their results show health insurance websites have dismal customer satisfaction compared to other kinds of healthcare sites (such as pharmaceutical sites, hospital websites, health information sites, etc.). A summary of the overall customer satisfaction rates are below. Health Information […]

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Medicare Physician Payment Adjustments

The Medicare billing system is complex.  There an alphabet soup of acronyms, (e.g., RVUs, CPT, HCPCS, GPCI) and each of these affects payments in different ways.  In addition to the standard payment terms, Medicare is also creating additional payment incentives.  These payment incentives fall into three broad categories: Quality reporting e-Prescribing (eRx) Electronic Health Records […]

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Is your personal health data secure?

In 2010, providers alone spent more than $88.6 billion on health IT initiatives in response to the US government’s “meaningful use” incentive program to drive widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs).  Is this data secure? For many individuals, the answer is no.  In just the last year and a half, a breach of personal […]

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Kaiser Permanente’s EHR System

As of 2009, only 9 percent of America’s hospitals were using even a basic form of electronic medical records (EHR) and as of 2008 only 13 percent of practicing doctors were doing so.  Yet one private health insurer has integrated EHR for hospitals, physicians, outpatient and other services.  I am of course talking about Kaiser Permanente. Today […]

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