Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

“The medical marketplace is broken”

This quote is from David Blumenthal, a physician and former Harvard Medical School professor, who was the national coordinator for health information technology between 2009-2011.  He describes in an interview for the Atlantic why adoption of electronic medical records has been so slow in the U.S. From the patient’s perspective, this is a no-brainer. The benefits […]

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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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Use EMR…or else!

Hayward Zwerling of the Health Care Blog notes that a large number of doctors in Massachusetts may soon be losing their license.  Section 108 of Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012 states: The first paragraph of section 2 of chapter 112 of the General Laws … is hereby amended by inserting (the following)… The board (of […]

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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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EMR and Second Opinions

Electronic medical records have been touted as producing large gains in efficiency.  In fact, Kaiser Permanente has invested $3 billion in EMR.  One drawback of EMR, however, is that the value of second opinions may fall.  Instead of coming to a new physician with a clean slate or at the least seeking a fresh interpretation […]

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Getting Electronic Medical Records Right

Currently, only 1.5% of U.S. hospitals have electronic records systems covering all their clinical units; an additional 7.6% have systems in at least one such hospital unit (Jha et al. 2009).  This low EMR usage rate is astounding, especially since the RAND Corporation found that using EMR could save up to $77 billion annually.  The […]

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Will technology kill health care?

Information technology has the possibility of greatly increasing the efficiency of health care.  EMRs can reduce the cost of accessing patient information.  New technologies can make medical devices more effective.   But is there a cost to increased medical technology?  GigaOM wonders “…will widespread diagnostics increase the burden on healthcare? Somewhere between 10 and 50 […]

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Is American Health Care Inefficient?

Economists generally define efficiency in two manners: productive efficiency and allocative efficiency.  Productive efficiency means producing a good or service using fewest inputs.  A car company who produces a car that costs $20,000 to manufacture is less efficient than a company that can produce that same car (at the same quality) at a cost of […]

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An EMR that protects your privacy?

Electronic medical records (EMR) hold the promise of vastly improving the quality of medical care received in the U.S. today. One of the major issues with EMR is privacy however. Patients generally want their doctors to know as much about their health as possible in order to make the best possible medical diagnoses and treatment […]

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Google Health

Google is everywhere. CNN reports that Google is venturing into health records biz. “Google Inc. will begin storing the medical records of a few thousand people as it tests a long-awaited health service that’s likely to raise more concerns about the volume of sensitive information entrusted to the Internet search leader. The pilot project to […]

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