Futurist Jeff Goldsmith’s analysis of issues that could cause problems for any health reform effort that eventually emerges from the foodfight in Washington this summer provoked a wide range of reader replies. (“No Country For Old Men“) Goldsmith wrote in response:
“The fun part of this blog is how much you learn about an issue when you post something. Several learning points: 1) How big a deal this is. $1.6 trillion sounds like a lot of money, but over ten years, it’s less than 1% of the cumulative GDP over those ten years (which I grew to $16.8 trillion from its present $14t in 2019). In other words, it’s peanuts. Cumulative health spending over this time looks like over $40 trillion, so even $600 billion in Medicare cuts looks like peanuts. These are small numbers made to look big because of the ten years. Plus ten year numbers are BS anyway because you never get a linear increase over that type of time span. $1.6 trillion actually sounds like Dr. Evil’s ransom demands in Austin Powers. . .”
THCB Reader Margalit offered this response to Dr. Rick Weinhaus’s open letter to former Harvard professor Dr. David Blumenthal, the man charged with masterminding the Obama administration’s ambitious health IT push (“An Open Letter to Dr. David Blumenthal“), urging the administration to rethink support for the current EMR certification process …
“Maybe Dr. Blumenthal should come up with two separate “certification” suggestions similar to the auto industry.
1) A minimal set of standard security and safety items. Nothing too fancy and complicated. Something like car emissions and inspection that products have to pass every year in order to “stay on the road”. Once the criteria are set, the inspection and certification body should be distributed, just like the inspection centers for cars, and multiple private bodies should be able to apply for the status of “Certification Center”.
2) This should be in the form of funding a Consumer Reports like entity, that is completely and totally unbiased, for evaluating EMRs and other health care applications. The Healthcare Consumer Reports should have very strict regulations regarding who it can receive funding from. Maybe the folks at the real Consumer Reports would like to take this one on. I would be inclined to trust them more than anything else that comes to my mind right now.”
Reader Candida also chimed in on the thread on usability prompted by Weinhaus’s proposed EMR design (“The EHR TimeBar: A New Visual Interface Design“), but posed a slightly more provocative question.
Dr. Evan Dossia wrote in to challenge critics who blame rising malpractice rates on physician attitudes and – in some cases – their ties to the insurance industry, in the thread on Dr. Rahul Parikh’s post looking at how the American American Medical Association is viewed one hundred and fifty years after the organization’s founding. (“How Relevant is the American Medical Association?“),
Fellow reader Tcoyote agreed with industry analyst Robert Laszewki’s criticism of the rumored exemption that the Obama administration may give to labor unions, exempting them from any tax on health benefits for a period of five years. (“Unions May Get a Pass on Health Benefits Tax.”)
Sarah Greene of the Group Health Center for Health Studies had this to say in response to Weinhaus’s take on a new and more usable electronic medical record design …