Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Historic Opportunity

A Historic Opportunity: The new paper by Todd Park and Dr. Peter Basch is a fantastic summary of the potential benefits we can achieve with practice innovations and appropriate use of healthcare IT, as well as the importance of changing reimbursement systems to promote both:

Peter said the publishers of the paper, the Center for American Progress, will use this in their discussions with key Congressional staff, to attempt to have payment reform made part of the fabric of upcoming healthcare reform. I certainly hope this has some influence- I agree that if HITECH wants to use $36 billion to promote EMRs… it is much better off using that money to update our failed volume based reimbursement system to promote quality and efficiency, as compared to giving the money to doctors to simply use EMRs of dubious effectiveness. Pay us to change and improve our systems – and let us figure out the best way to do it…
And most importantly, make this a long-term reimbursement change – not a one time “bonus”.

Also, let’s start more consistently using the $36 billion amount rather than the $19 billion amount – as the $19 billion is actually what the govt considers “total cost” – they plan to give $36 billion in incentives, but they assume there will be $17 billion in money saved, so the total cost to the govt is “only” $19 billion – let’s ride with it!

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