It may be 2009, not 1984, but the book by George Orwell may indeed be predictive of the future.
A modified quote from Chapter two states " the past is dead, the future is unimaginable". Read further to see what I mean.
As part of the commitment President Obama has made for health care reform, private medical practices, as well as hospitals and clinics must convert to Electronic medical records (EMR) or Electronic Health records (EHR). In order to help implement the conversion, President Obama has budgeted 19 million dollars with an average grant of $44,000 per office. Many systems may cost as much as ten times that amount.
Private offices that are struggling to overcome decreased third party compensation and spiraling costs may be pushed out. For those that are dragging their heels to adopt a new system, failure to utilize the new system may be a departure from recognized standards. Medicare and recognized insurance company will reimburse care at a decreased amount as a penalty.
Confusion reigns on a Grand Scale
Many hospitals and medical offices are now scrambling to incorporate the new technology into their systems. The only problem is- there is not a universal system. Many electronic programs are now available but they do not necessarily interface or communicate with each other.
The advantage to an electronic system was so that patients seeing various specialists in different locations could get automatic access to the records so that medications and laboratory tests would not be repetitious or in conflict.
But, who else will see the record besides the specialists and your primary care givers? The administration may be foisting EMR on us to monitor the care of you and medicine in general. Despite privacy issues, getting incentives from the government allows them to collect data from your records "for quality of care measures".
Welcome Big Brother- Come in and browse awhile!
This is a primary step for government to control healthcare in the future. Will legislators decide what treatment options you must get for a particular symptom based on healthcare costs as opposed to optimal treatment? Will government protocols then forbid physicians from informing patients what better treatment options are available but not allowed due to a prohibitive cost?
In a fervor to have universal, affordable healthcare, are these changes slipping through without the public being made aware of the ramifications? In Chapter 7 of 1984, "until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious".
There are those that are welcoming this CHAOS or change on operating systems, looking forward to the day when healthcare is available to all. There are those who are fearful of Big Brother and all possible hackers being intimately knowledgeable about parts of our lives.
Where do your sentiments lie?
Reprinted by permission of copywriter Barbara Hales. For more discussions on health care reform, subscribe to The Medical Strategist newsletter at: http://www.TheWriteTreatment.com
About Barbara Hales: Barbara Hales is a copywriter for the medical and health fields. With her knowledge of medicine, Barbara understands the issues and challenges in health reform that face you.
For more information or help with your healthcare marketing, contact her at (516) 647-3002 or visit her website at http://www.TheWriteTreatment.com where you can sign up for a free newsletter - The Medical Strategist.