Economics of health care IT

Economics of health care IT. Last week's column
on the dysfunctionality of health care IT drew comment from some folks
who deal professionally with the issue. John Rodat, who is president of
Signalhealth and who blogs at healthsignals new york,
reminded me that while we all complain, “we've still got to develop the
market.” And while I focused somewhat myopically on issues of software
architecture, Rodat gets down to the brass tacks of economic reality:

The next time you receive a medical service, ask yourself whether you would pay an extra buck or two or more if you knew that:

  • You wouldn't have to fill out the same forms over and over.
  • Your
    information sent by your primary care physician would be readily
    available at the specialist's office even before you got there.
  • You could be confident that the specialist's diagnosis and treatments were reported promptly back to your primary.
  • The whole process of getting results from labs and images was accelerated.
  • You
    knew that information held in one provider's records would be
    automatically cross-checked against those in another's to assure you
    that they weren't working at cross purposes.
  • You could easily check your own information and get personalized information based on your condition.
  • You could control the flow of your own information without filling out another meaningless HIPAA CYA form.
  • All of the needed information was available, if necessary, on the other side of the country.

Or consider what you would pay as an add-on to your (admittedly already
too high) health insurance premium. Me? How about a couple hundred
bucks a year? [healthsignals new york]

Great questions. If you add to this list of benefits the longitudinal
tracking and consistent follow-up that the current system fails rather
spectacularly to deliver, I'd grudgingly answer yes. I'd pay more for
these competencies. Of course while that's true for me now as a
salaried employee with health care benefits, it would have been a
tougher call a couple of years ago when I was self-employed. For the
chronically uninsured, it would be a cruel joke — though conceivably
the insured could help subsidize the bootstrapping of systems that
would benefit everyone. [Jon's Radio]

Leave a comment