How My Cousin, President George W. Bush, Almost Killed Athenahealth - InformationWeek

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How My Cousin, President George W. Bush, Almost Killed Athenahealth
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WKash
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WKash,
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5/16/2014 | 11:53:44 AM
Re: The tyranny of state health laws
One way forward would be greater transparency not only on the basic costs of health care procedures and tests, but having those costs broken out by state and/or metro areas. While I know such comparisons don't fully capture the quality of healthcare, consumers are flying virtually blind now as it is and can't make informed choices. 

Would consumers move from one state to another, based on relative healthcare costs?  Many consumers already make that kind of choice based on income and sales taxes. I did in deciding to leave New York for a less tax-hungry state.  With health care costs eating up a growing chunk of all our incomes, I think knowing the relative cost and quality of healthcare by state can and will become a competitive opportunity for pro-business, pro employment state governors.

 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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5/16/2014 | 10:10:34 AM
Re: The tyranny of state health laws
Yes, except I expect it will be as much the state medical boards as the state legislatures that will fight to defend their turf right to set their own rules and influence their own lawmakers. Breaking that down will be a long process, unless the federal government gets really active and forceful.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
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5/16/2014 | 7:41:55 AM
Re: Is this how health IT regulation works (or doesn't)?
Pointing to extreme cases doesn't prove your point. So the only time you go to a doctor is when you have a heart attack or some other emergency? There's no potential for more competitive pricing when it comes to such things as blood tests, basic exams, X-rays, and vaccinations? We're already seeing market alternatives emerge in those and other areas, but as long as the government or some insurer picks up the bill, isolating the consumer from the cost, costs will continue to soar. People will continue to let their doctor run a barrage of unnecessary tests. They'll continue to run to the doctor every time they have the sniffles. There needs to be more of a connection between the consumer and the cost. Paying my taxes is a need, not a want, too, but I shop around for a good, cost-effective accountant because the government or my insurer isn't picking up the tab. We won't shop for all medical services, of course. But we need to start putting some pressure on medical practices to become more efficient.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
5/15/2014 | 6:53:04 PM
The tyranny any of state health laws
The tale of an specialist in Florida being technical able via the Internet, but legally unable by law, to diagnose a case of Merkel Cell Carcinoma in a patient in Wyoming, is a sad example (on page 4 of this story) of how state regulated healthcare "subverts the promise of the information economy," as Bush puts it. It's also a reflection of the needless complications that compounded problems for the Affordable Care Act Health insurance exchange.  Clearly the country would be better served with more interstate healthcare competition.

 
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
5/15/2014 | 12:27:17 PM
Re: Is this how health IT regulation works (or doesn't)?
Yes, it's self-serving. He wouldn't have written a book that doesn't serve his company's interests. But he nonetheless raises some excellent points. The key here is his thesis (and it's not an original thesis) that healthcare costs will continue to race ahead of inflation unless insured consumers have a financial incentive to shop for lower-cost care. 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
5/15/2014 | 11:57:09 AM
Is this how health IT regulation works (or doesn't)?
What do you think of Jonathan Bush's analysis of the structure of health IT regulation? Accurate or self serving? Partisan or practical?


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