Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The HIT Scam

Worth a read -

The HIT Scam By Greg Scandlen

Notable in the piece are these observations:

 ... even the editors of the Washington Post have come to agree the whole [national health IT] project was a fiasco — but only after we wasted $27 billion of taxpayer money.

Yet, those who are enriching themselves on the $27 billion are just happy as clams over the program. John Hoyt, the Executive Vice President of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) was quoted in a recent Health Change Bulletin as saying −

This data suggests that the HITECH portion of the 2009 stimulus law is achieving its intended result of encouraging increased implementation and meaningful use of electronic health records among hospitals. Facilities…are laying the groundwork for interoperability to occur. Stage 6 and Stage 7 hospitals are fully prepared for provider-to-provider or facility-to-facility interoperability, as well as increasing the provider or facility’s ability to provide electronic health data reporting to public health and immunization registries to support population health review and syndromic surveillance.

There, aren’t you greatly reassured? By the way, the New York Times piece cited above reported that –

RAND’s 2005 report was paid for by a group of companies, including General Electric and Cerner Corporation, that have profited by developing and selling electronic records systems to hospitals and physician practices. Cerner’s revenue has nearly tripled since the report was released, to a projected $3 billion in 2013, from $1 billion in 2005.

No doubt the companies that paid for the RAND study are also members of HIMSS. And General Electric certainly has what might be called a “special” relationship with President Obama.

I've been writing on similar issues for more than a decade.

It's well past the time when the same rigor that applies to pharma and medical devices be applied to the health IT sector.  And the marketing hype, along with bad health IT, abolished.

-- SS 


Trevor3130 said...

Seems to me, Scot, there are some low-hanging fruit to prove the efficacy of Health IT to improve outcomes. At least one of them is in, of all places, ED. The time to first antibiotic dose in severe pneumonia (TFAD) is one of the national performance criteria. It's been disputed on several grounds, but is there a single point to view the collective data?
By the bye, one Loyd Eskildson has written a lengthy review of David Goldhill's book 'Catastrophic Care'.

Anonymous said...

A scandal of formidable magnitude. The costs of change without progress far exceed the $27 billion. The US Congress was sold a pig in a poke, and Farzad's cheerleading lessens his credibility, if he ever had ant.