We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The government offers me a $40,000 check to go on electronic medical records. I won't do it. Who would open up to me if I did?
For the same reason, I keep minimal notes anyway and just enough to refresh my memory. From The
Electronic-Medical-Records Wreck-Doctors have their own Obamacare nightmare to deal with:
As I’ve mentioned previously, 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.” He said, “As EMRs proliferate, and increased Medicare scrutiny looms, medical documentation is evolving from its original goal of recording what actually was going on with a patient, and what the provider was actually thinking, to sterile boilerplate documents designed to justify the highest billing codes.”
Many docs today are spending more time on computer screens than they are with patients.
"Medicine" has become a rather odd duck (sorry, Gwynnie) of "prepaid" and "pay for others" programs rather than the practice of actually healing... a status that I simply don't understand (ok, I know the history, but that still doesn't lead to understanding).
Perhaps the sheer $$$ in "medicine" attracted so many eager hands.
"I won't do it. Who would open up to me if I did?"
This statement may underestimate the intelligence of your patients...unless in your practice you happen treat an unusual number of paranoids. There's a difference between keeping medical records in electronic form and sharing those confidential records with others (like the government). My HMO spent more than a billion dollars to create an electronic medical records system, which replaced their old paper record keeping system. Their old system was itself very expensive to maintain, just in terms of finding storage space for paper folders like mine that began to bulge with old age even though I've never had any serious medical issue since joining up.
I have no particular objection if my medical records are kept in one form or the other. At home, in fact, I keep very few paper records these days. I keep all my financial records in electronic form and anything else I get in paper form tends to end up being scanned and stored on my computer, or else it eventually gets thrown away in the trash. I admit I would have a big problem if my medical records---paper or electronic---were shared with the government without my informed consent. But the mere fact that my medical records are now electronic instead of paper has not changed my attitude towards my doctor, how much information I am willing to share with him, and the care I receive in return. Of course, being a natural-born skeptic, whether our sessions are recorded on paper or in a computer, I share with my physician the health information I think he needs to know, but no more than that.
Available on the inter-tubes? So are my bank accounts. So is my mutual fund account at Fidelity. So are my personal accounts at Amazon and 3 dozen other on-line retailers that I buy things from. Any one of those accounts could be hacked, but would I trade the convenience of 24/7 on-line buying for the added "security" of paper records that would require me to place an order over the phone only during business hours when a human being was available to take my order? No way.
I'll be seeing my doctor for my annual checkup tomorrow. I will ask him who has on-line access to my medical records and then report back what I find.
I'm not really a fan of the HIPAA law and all the convoluted regulation around it. However it is the law and it appears to me that a large part of Obamacare violates HIPAA. Certainly placing any of this on the internet would violate HIPAA. What would be the difference between that and throwing your files away in the trash or on the front lawn?