Affordable Care Act
Politics of Obamacare and Healthcare Pain-Points
Published on June 11, 2016
Which is More Important? Security or access to your medical records?
One of the pain-points we all face in the health care system is getting access to our own medical records. If you’ve ever tried to fill out your medical history or an admissions form when you go to the doctor’s office, then you’ve experienced this problem first-hand.
It’s not often easy to remember when you had your last check-up or what year you were vaccinated, etc. Moreover, if you’ve ever had a major surgery or illness, you know how important to get your doctor correct information quickly so that you can be treated as soon as possible.
To solve these problems, the Obama Administration included $30 billion in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus plan) for hospitals and medical providers to take all of their medical records and digitize them into something called an Electronic Medical Record (EMR).
EHRs aim to make it easier for doctors and hospitals to access and share your medical records instantly so that they can provide better care, reduce medical errors and make it faster and easier to diagnose and treat illness.
In 2009, only 17% of doctors stored their patient’s medical records digitally.
Less than a decade later, 75% of U. S. hospitals are using digital records.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act has made great progress, but there is still progress to be made.
If you’re wondering why you still have to fill out forms every time you go to the doctor, there is a simple reason for that – most of the installed Electronic Medical Records (EMR) can’t talk to each other.
What that means is, if your hospital needs your medical records, they can’t necessarily get them from your doctor, because his EMR doesn’t talk to the hospital’s EHR.
Some camps see this lack of connectivity as a huge problem.
Others claim going slow is the best way to maintain the security of a patient’s medical records.
The Politics of Obamacare
While its not a political hot potato yet, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently launched an initiative called the “interoperability pledge,” which essentially encourages the various companies that make these EHRs commit, publically, to making their records work with each other.
Will Hillary Clinton take a position on this issue? It’s a legacy issue for the Obama administration, but consumers tend to come down on the side of security.
Will Donald Trump come down on the side of personal security or better efficiency?
What do you think? Do you support The Department of Health and Human Services’ interoperability pledge for electronic medical records?