Obamacare EMR mandate is a train wreck, too

FROM THE RIGHT: HEALTH CARE


Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, a Philadelphia orthopedic surgeon, has a timely reminder for everyone encountering the federal health care exchange meltdown: “If you think signing up for Obamacare is a nightmare, ask your doctor how the EMR mandate is going.”

Bingo.

The White House finally acknowledged the spectacular public disaster of Obamacare’s Internet exchange Monday. But President Shamwow and his sales team are AWOL on the bureaucratic ravages of the federal electronic medical records mandate. Modernized data collection is a worthy goal, of course. But distracted doctors are seeing “more pixels than patients,” DiNubile observes, and the EMR edict is foisting “dangerous user-unfriendly technology” on physicians and patients.

Instead of concentrating on care, doctors face exhausting regulatory battles over the definition of “meaningful use” of technology, skyrocketing costs and unwarranted Big Brother intrusions.

Obamacare’s top-down, tax-subsidized, job-killing, privacy-undermining electronic record-sharing scheme has been a big fat bust. More than $4 billion in “incentives” has been doled out to force doctors and hospitals to convert and upgrade by 2015. But favored EMR vendors, including Obama bundler Judy Faulkner’s Epic Systems, have undermined rather than enhanced interoperability. Oversight remains lax.

This summer, Massachusetts reported that 60 percent of doctors could not meet the EMR mandate and face potential loss of their licenses in 2015. And a few weeks ago, the American College of Physicians pleaded with the feds to delay the mandate’s requirements.

Dr. Hayward K. Zwerling, a physician in Massachusetts who is also president of ComChart Medical Software, blasted the Obamacare EMR mandate in a recent open letter: “As the developer of an EMR, I sincerely believe that a well-designed EMR is a useful tool for many practices. However, the federal and state government’s misguided obsession to stipulate which features must be in the EMRs, and how the physician should use the EMRs in the exam room places the politicians in the middle of the exam room between the patient and the physician, and seriously disrupts the physician-patient relationship.” Zwerling’s call to arms appealed to fellow doctors to pressure the feds to repeal the mandate.

My own primary care physician in Colorado Springs quit her regular practice and converted to “concierge care” because of the EMR imposition. Dr. Henry Smith, a Pennsylvania pulmonary doctor, also walked away. “Faced with the implementation costs and skyrocketing overhead in general,” he told me, “I finally threw in the towel and closed my practice.”

Dr. Michael Laidlaw of Rocklin, Calif., told EHR Practice Consultants that he abandoned the Obamacare EMR “incentive” program “when I realized that I spent the first two to five minutes of each visit endlessly clicking a bunch of garbage to make all the green lights show up on the (meaningful use) meter.”

Let me underscore that again: Doctors face steep penalties if they can’t meet the radical technology goals imposed by the very same glitch-plagued Obamacare bureaucrats who now need an emergency “tech surge” to fix their own failed info-tech Titanic. The Obamacare wrecking ball has only just begun.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Solar eclipse 2017: You can be a 'citizen scientist' during the Great American Eclipse
Solar eclipse 2017: You can be a 'citizen scientist' during the Great American Eclipse

For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will cross North America on Monday. The eclipse is expected to cross from Oregon, entering the U.S. at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, and leaving U.S. shores from South Carolina at 2:50 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, over the course of an hour and a half. Becoming a citizen scientist through...
Solar eclipse 2017: What's on your Great American Eclipse playlist?
Solar eclipse 2017: What's on your Great American Eclipse playlist?

On Monday, millions of people will watch the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly a century. So we thought it might be fun to make an eclipse-related playlist of songs that use the words moon, eclipse or sun in the title.  Or, perhaps, in the spirit of this “once-in-a-lifetime" event, how about songs that...
Solar eclipse 2017: Is it safe to take a selfie with the eclipse? How to do it the right way
Solar eclipse 2017: Is it safe to take a selfie with the eclipse? How to do it the right way

The Great American Eclipse on Monday is expected to draw millions of Americans to cities along the centerline path of totality, where the moon completely blocks the sun, the earth goes dark and the sun’s corona shimmers in the blackened sky. And with all the hype surrounding the total eclipse, you’re probably wondering if you...
Commentary: Supporting students who want to stay here

This is the season when students are returning to university campuses across Ohio, including the University of Dayton and the Miami Valley region, to learn from their academic communities, and to advance communities far beyond them with their passion and innovation. As a former university administrator and now as a professor, I respectfully ask for...
Rare Aston Martin sports car sells for record-setting $22.5 million
Rare Aston Martin sports car sells for record-setting $22.5 million

A rare Aston Martin sports car sold for a record-setting $22.5 million at auction at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance during Monterey Car Week. The 1956 Aston Martin DBR1/1 was created to compete in the World Sportscar Championship and Le Mans race series. Only five of the vehicles were crafted, this is the first chassis. It competed...
More Stories