Fighting Mad?


Here is an article in Politico that is summarized in the AMA Morning Rounds newsletter:

There is widespread dissatisfaction with the Administration’s “$30 billion” effort to digitize health records, combined with a “hungry new Congress,” could pose a threat to the program. While “many believe digital health will eventually bring huge benefits, physicians have seen few of them to date,” and with the government set to cut payments to those who have not demonstrated “meaningful use,” physician groups “are fighting mad.” Next year “promises to be a critical year for determining whether electronic health records will enable physicians to communicate with each other efficiently to create better care.” Politico adds that the spending bill signed by President Obama Dec. 16 includes language that requires HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT “to investigate why records aren’t flowing smoothly” between providers “and to decertify software that blocks such transactions.”

Does anyone see the connection here to what the state of Massachusetts did (see my blog on Jan 2)?  Few benefits?  No meaningful use found?  Massachusetts must have known about the dissatisfaction, we all do, but still took it upon themselves to nip the argument in the bud by tying licensure to EMR use.  How sleazy was that?  I would hate to work in that state.  Let’s hope the doctors there grow some balls and push back.  We all need to be watching our own state boards very closely now.


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] 

  2 comments for “Fighting Mad?

  1. Randy
    January 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    (from the Politico article)

    “Jon White, the deputy National Coordinator for Health IT (and no relation to Joel White), sees hopeful little signs in the health care system.

    Several days ago, his 13-year-old daughter broke a finger playing tag. She had it X-rayed, and by the time she reached the orthopedist’s office a half an hour later, the radiologist had already transmitted the image. It was hanging on the wall of the exam room.

    “It made me so happy the orthopod could look at the results so quickly,” White said. “That wouldn’t have been possible five years ago.” ”

    I could be wrong, but as far as I know the digitization of radiologic images has nothing to do with the Federal program to digitize medical records that is the subject of the article. I’m able to access images from our local hospital but it’s not through my EMR, it’s though proprietary software supplied to me by the hospital. I usually just have the patient bring a CD anyway since the images take forever to download.

    I also have to question why his orthopedist hung a digital image on the wall, although it’s possible he has a flat screen monitor mounted on the wall.

    • Pat
      January 4, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      Bingo Randy. I had an EHR in my office in 2000, because I thought it would increase our efficiency and our profits. If widespread EHR’s were such a great idea, they wouldn’t need to be mandated, and doctors wouldn’t have their own money stolen from them to test the theories of a ruling, ignorant political class.

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