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TECH/POLICY: Things to think about in Katrina’s aftermath

Here’s my FierceHealthcare editorial today:

In Katrina’s wake the inquests are beginning after the tragic failure to get help to where it was needed, especially in New Orleans. For healthcare organizations there are some immediate lessons, wherever in the country (or world) you might be. What is your disaster plan, and is it good enough to sustain you for several days in a potentially lawless environment, with no outside power or supplies? And do you have an evacuation plan for patients and staff? Obviously this matters most for hospitals, but given that all paper records and many computer systems have been destroyed, all healthcare organizations — no matter what size — need to make sure that their data is electronically backed up, redundantly, somewhere far away from them. If your vital data isn’t electronic, now is the time to make it so. Finally as a nation, we need to find a way to guarantee health care insurance and access to everyone displaced, and the best way to do that would be to guarantee it to everyone in America. –

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GayathriMartyJohn Di Saia MDAbbySteveH Recent comment authors
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Gayathri
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Gayathri

Employee wellness programs are defintely important not only to reduce healthcare costs. But it can help every employee to know how to lead a healthy living.

Marty
Guest

Matthew – Your final point is the most significant: Guarantee healthcare for all Americans. I was at the HIPAA Summit in DC last week, and a congressional aide pointed out that our health care costs 50% more as a percentage of GNP than the rest of the industrialized world — *AND* that we have 43 million uninsured. The dots somehow did not connect. I would turn around his quote and substitute the word *BECAUSE* for the word *AND*. Simple arithmetic: It takes more money to care for sick people than to care for well people. A national health system (and… Read more »

Ron Greiner
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Ron Greiner

You can read this site in less than 5 minutes per day.
Which is 5 minutes more than I will give it after this week.

Linkmeister
Guest

“If you want to say more, set up your own blog.”
Now there’s a great idea. Then the folks who come to read Matthew can make their own choice (Hey, Ron, it’s all about choice, right?) as to whether to click over to Ron’s blog.

Matthew Holt
Guest

Ron, I’m at a loss as to what the hell you’re talking about….and I’m getting more and more complaints about your comments. Now can you PLEASE try to keep your comments to one or two paragraphs….
If you want to say more, set up your own blog and feel free to link to it in your comments. You are making my comments unreadable. I dont want to pull an Ezra on you, but please try to excercise some restraint.

Ron Greiner
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Ron Greiner

You are right Dr. John. Matthew, look at the bigger picture for once in your life and try and get a leadership position in the “Ownership Society.” Knowledge is flowing in Pittsburgh. We advertised in Pittsburgh right up to the election last year trying to do our part. I knew Florida was in the bag so we went to PA which was sooo close. The editor at the Pittsburgh paper told me, “I know all about the tax-free HSA.” He is combining the tax free HSA with wellness. (This is the reporter that Hillary attacked) They report: //Costs vary depending… Read more »

John Di Saia MD
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How are you going to guarantee healthcare insurance to everyone?
It is somewhat meaningless when you can’t guarantee that those with insurance (particularly the Blues insurance) will get care with that insurance.
So you want to give the Blues government funds?
That is like giving their execs a payday. Won’t change a thing.

Ron Greiner
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Ron Greiner

gadfly, that’s why I love you. We already have computer people up the wazoo changing software so fast it’s hard to keep up with all the changes. The consumer should be in charge of their personal, and dependents’, medical records. This is pretty important. For SelectSolution HSA consumers they have “Identity Theft” protection to a maximum benefit of $2,500 for legal fees, expenses and related costs. Maybe we should consider including “Medical Records Theft” as a covered expense tooo. With a much higher “Lifetime” limit. Hospitals chains, insurance companies and others will do just fine in the “private sector” in… Read more »

gadfly
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gadfly

//the elevtronic record bandwagon.//
It sucks that this is a bandwagon. I’m not exactly a luddite about technology, but I think there has been some serious EMR agitprop and not enough investigation of the drawbacks. At the risk of agreeing with Ron, I think this is going to turn into corporate windfall/pork.

Abby
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Abby

I quoted liberally from this and included the link in an e-mail that I sent to my Senator, but he’s already on the elevtronic record bandwagon.

gadfly
Guest
gadfly

//bulk of the lawyers in town may never recover//
While I have every sympathy for loss of livelihood, the demolition of the paperwork is a rather interesting solution to the way the legal practice has made justice a matter of what you can pay for.

Ron Greiner
Guest
Ron Greiner

Matthew, You are always unbiased even though the Blues are your clients. Me on the other hand am biased, you say, because I get income from my HSA involvement. Michigan has 4 million workers which about 900,000 are union employees. Michigan Blue Cross reports 4.7 million insured. What exactly is a monopoly Matthew? You forgot to explain exactly what my one note is. I know it’s just a propaganda thing of yours. That’s why I like you Matthew, your propaganda is pretty good. It would be better if you would stoop so low as to answer a question once in… Read more »

SteveH
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SteveH

“One of the legal blogs I read cites an NYT article and then worries that the bulk of the lawyers in town may never recover and may in fact quit the profession.”
And this would be a bad thing? Just kidding.

Linkmeister
Guest

It’s good advice for any business. The whole legal/judiciary system in New Orleans is under water, too. One of the legal blogs I read cites an NYT article and then worries that the bulk of the lawyers in town may never recover and may in fact quit the profession.
http://talkleft.com/new_archives/012227.html

Matthew Holt
Guest

Ron. I havent worked for a Blues plan in more than 2 years…..and they don’t need much taxpayer help as they seem to be doing fine on their own. Nothing that I say on this blog is influenced by what my clients may or may not want or want to hear. And nothin I say to my clients is influenced that way either. They pay me for independent unbiased advice and research, and BTW thinks I do for them do not end up here, unless there’s a very good reason for it and all confidentiality is respected. And your attack… Read more »