Now You See It

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The cuts have started.  Over 257,000 doctors will get Medicare cuts because they are still using paper records.  Intuitively, it does seem ridiculous at this day an age to be using paper charts that is until you realize that all electronic medical records (EMR or EHR) were built for billing not patient care.  Then you may come to the same conclusion as these docs that these behemoths are not worth the money.  Doesn’t matter.  The government will penalize you anyway.  Let’s not forget that these EMRs are really not proven to improve care.  Doesn’t matter.  The government will penalize you anyway.  How about the fact that these EMRs do not talk to other EMRs?  You still have to print-fax-print-scan any medical record you sent.  Doesn’t matter.  The government will penalize you anyway.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like a lot of the aspects of the electronic medical record but I have one (Atlas) that works for direct primary care.  It is not built for billing.  It is built the way it should be with the good aspects of the paper chart combined with the helpful aspects of technology.  Doesn’t matter. If I was still billing the government then I would be penalized because I wouldn’t be “adequately” doing it right in their eyes:

The American Medical Association said the meaningful use program uses a “strict set of one-size-fits-all requirements” and is “failing physicians and their patients,” AMA president-elect Dr. Steven Stack said in a statement

No, AMA, we let the government do this to us and now we are failing our patients because of it.  We need control back.  I am just starting to feel that again and it is amazing.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]

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2 Responses

  1. Jeff Polgar says:

    Nail on the head…

  2. Steve_O'_ says:

    Parable.
    The people of the little village on the river were proud of their cleverness. Across the river was a town full of dullards; the river separated their dull, idiot country from the homeland.
    There was no bridge, not for a long time. What use could there be for one? So the town was surprised and delighted to hear that the Army wished to build a bridge across the river, so as to sack the neighboring towns and villages. They deserve it! Those idiots!
    The Army would pay handsomely, too. The little school and college in the village – of course, attended by the best and brightest from all over the country – had a contest to design a bridge.
    One of the most artistic and whimsical bridges was proposed, that was made of twine and colored balloons! How light! How pretty – and of course, sturdy enough to allow tanks to cross – the engineers who designed it calculated for all the variables! And the army paid lavishly for the design, and ordered the villagers to construct it immediately!
    The whole town turned out. The bridge was cast across the river, the bright balloons holding it up into the sky. It was accomplished on-time, in fact early!
    And the Army rolled in, delighted. Company after company of soldiers disembarked, to begin the crossing of the river. A whole parade came through town, led by the townspeople, who marched to the edge of the river. The first company marched up, and began to cross, and splash! Part of the bridge fell in. Some of the villagers laughed in merriment.
    The Colonel, though, frowned. He talked to the mayor of the little village. “You promised us a bridge!” he said the mayor. “Why there it is, it’s your bridge!”
    The Colonel frowned deeper. “But it is useless! It cannot support a troop crossing!”
    The mayor laughed. “Of course – we showed you the plans! Twine and balloons! You sound surprised!”
    The Colonel said, “We are only an army. We do not judge, the clever or the stupid, the town or the city, the contemptible or the arrogant. We march. We pay money for bridges that can be crossed. You said that this bridge could be crossed!”
    The mayor laughed even harder. “So why did you pay so much money for this bridge? What is your thought here?”
    The Colonel sighed. “We do not want a bridge,” he said. “The bridge will be paid for by the loot we recover when the enemy is invaded. We only need a town to plunder and sack. If we cannot find what we want across the river, we will have to make do on our side.”
    The smoke began to rise from the little village.

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