Posts Tagged - ‘electronic medical records’

Post border

Hospitals Criticize Unrealistic Electronic Medical Record Goals

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Image: MC4 Army under CC 3.0

Electronic medical records have been largely looked upon as a panacea: they have the potential to reduce costly and harmful errors, as well as lowering administrative expenses–savings that can then be passed on through lower health insurance rates.

To this end, funding for incentives was included in Obama’s stimulus package last year. Unfortunately, doctors, health insurance plan providers, and hospitals are complaining that the goals are far too unrealistic for the short term. Even facilities that have been praised for their implementation would not qualify on enough of the nearly 30 guidelines to receive funding.

President Obama has called for all medical records to be computerized within five years. Insurers like Kaiser Permanente doubt that will happen on schedule.

Post border
Post border

Electronic Health Insurance Cards = More Affordable Health Insurance?

Friday, February 19th, 2010

France’s health care system is the complete opposite of what many in America want. Socialized medicine is obviously verboten, and even a public option that would compete with (not replace) private health insurance companies was shot down. However, there may be something healthcare reform advocates can take from the French system: health care cards.

What are they? In France, they’re called a carte vitale. They are health insurance cards, but so much more. The smart cards have an electronic strip that has your essential health care information encoded: medical records, prescriptions, reimbursements, and health insurance information. Health care providers are able to swipe it like a credit card, reducing costs related to inaccurate forms in addition to medical fraud. Hospitals and other medical facilities are able to function with under half as many administrative employees. That means more affordable health insurance for you and me.

Health care smart cards are an appealing addition to American healthcare reform, but they are not perfect. It is easier to enact such a system in nations like France and Taiwan with nationalized health care. In the United States, there are so many health insurance companies and hospital systems with differing payment and treatment systems. On the other hand, that confusion could make the smart cards even more necessary to decrease the amount of paperwork forced on doctors.

The financial stimulus package passed last year includes $19 billion in funding for Americans to be equipped with some form of convenient electronic health record by 2014. Mount Sinai is already doing it.

Post border