POLICY/TECH: Gingrich Discusses Health Care

Newt is at it again. This is one speech for which I assume he didn’t get his $40K going rate as it was to the Florida House. As usual he said tech would solve all our problems— he should know enough to shut up about that line, or at least qualify it by now. My views on this are well known to THCB readers but suffice it to say it’s not an accident that health care doesn’t use IT the way Newt would like it to and his solutions appear to operate in a vacuum. Still if health care companies keep ponying up $200K a year for the right to listen to those brilliant statements (and not of course just to get close to a big Republican mover and shaker), who am I to judge? But in the middle he said this:

"Current federal law is stunningly stupid and destructive because it blocks hospitals from giving away electronic health records to doctors," he said.

Maybe I’m dumb but didn’t MMA explicitly say that this was OK? And hasn’t CMS and DOJ ruled that this is a safe harbor? And aren’t hospitals already doing this?

Then he said:

In many ways, he said, Florida is the nation’s most innovative state in health care.

I assume he was talking about innovation in spending three times as much as other states for the same results, and leading the league in health care fraud.

Meanwhile he’s speaking out about transparency in hospital supply pricing while my spies tell me that MedAssetts the GPO is a big backer. Although that’s not a bad thing given the opaqueness in traditional GPO business practices.

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  1. The U.S. always assumes “hardware” or “Tech” will solve all our problems. The more hardware our military has the safer we will be, the more hardware we have in Iraq that will win the hearts and minds of the enemy, the more hardware we have around the world, that will route out the causes of terrorism. I’m not surprised at this, hardware is sexy, especially for guys, and you can make more money investing in and selling hardware other than by just reforming this corrupt healthcare “system”. Leave in the political bribery, leave in the unaccountability of the AMA, leave in the gouging of the uninsured, remove peoples ability to have doctors pay for malpractice, keep the secrecy of healthcare costs from the patients, politically protect drug company profits, just add more “hardware”, yep, that’ll do it.