February 08, 2017

What Lies Ahead as the New Year Unfolds…

As the New Year unfolds, many of us are wondering what kind of changes will affect our industry. A new president is in office and now we wait. As predicted, the Affordable Care Act will be overhauled. Our new administration will impact health care because they will revise what I have been calling, ‘unaffordable access to insurance coverage’ instead of providing ‘affordable access to health care’. Everybody is on the journey together to get a workable health care plan, not bankrupt the country.

I support the idea of a single payer system if it’s not purely government based. Medicare and Medicaid are good but they are administratively over burdensome and lack some choice to the consumers. In my opinion, the only way to control cost is to have a system built as a co-op that people can pay into and select their plans with a true competition based model. While basic health care coverage can come from taxes; the optional aspects should be based upon what individuals choose and can afford to pay for, like any other aspect of purchasing. And of course, ensuring we never return to a system where pre-existing health care conditions impact insurability should be a given.

Another big issue in the news is increasing concern about health care data security in our industry. We must worry about PHI (personal health information) breaches. Health care information is very valuable and needs to be protected. Our birth certificates can provide a lifetime of information. Hospital technology is behind and at the same time we are creating the perfect risk storm by outsourcing information overseas where foreign countries are not bound to HIPAA guidelines.
Another issue needs to be addressed is the flawed data we are based on problematic content in the Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Lack of standards lack of integrity in out date =- garbage in garbage out. We need to look at better quality data and data definitions with based on standards. We must also eliminate problematic practices such as copy and paste and use of repetitive and limited automatic fill-in of templated data. The H.I.M. community can be important leaders in health care standards as well as data and document integrity.
Have an awesome year!