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Print 37 comment(s) - last by bubbastrangelo.. on Feb 26 at 11:16 AM

New funds will be handed out as grants by HHS and Department of Labor

Part of the massive amount of money that the Obama administration set aside in the Recovery Act is specifically being used to help health care organizations and agencies around the country migrate to new and more efficient digital health records. This migration will require a massive investment in IT technology.

The Obama administration has announced new funding for health care IT with $1 billion in additional funds allotted specifically for training on and support for health IT deployments and part of the funds will go towards health information exchanges. 

The new $1 billion investment will come in two parts – the first part will be $750 million given from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for what it says is to help spread the "meaningful use" of health IT via grants. The grants will be for health information exchanges and regional extension centers. An additional $225 million will be handed out by the Department of Labor for training in health IT.

recent paper called for better monitoring of electronic health information citing significant potential privacy issues with systems that might be flawed due to the rush to implement from some providers in order to grab a part of the government funding for new IT systems. The paper also called for yearly mandated training for users of health IT systems, which the new round of funding could help with.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services said, "Health information technology can make our healthcare system more efficient and improve the quality of care we all receive. These grant awards will help develop our electronic infrastructure and give doctors and other health care providers the support they need as they adopt this powerful technology."

The funding from HHS will be broken down for different uses. The largest part of the money will be $386 million that will be used to facilitate health information exchanges through 40 government and stat-designated agencies. The state health and human services department in California will get the largest grant of $38.8 million from the available funds.

HHS gave $375 million to 32-non-profit organizations to develop regional extension centers to educate health IT users and to offer technical assistance to doctors and hospitals as they deploy health IT systems. The $225 million in funds the Department of Labor has will be used to train about 15,000 people in the skills needed for careers in healthcare and health IT.



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Ding a ling ling...
By porkpie on 2/15/2010 11:16:43 AM , Rating: 5
Come and get it boys...its PORK FOR DINNER!




RE: Ding a ling ling...
By Hiawa23 on 2/15/2010 11:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
If this will help bring down the costs, or issues associated with healthcare I am all for it. Now that I think about it, whether I am for it or not doesn't matter as it seems this will happen regardless.


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By porkpie on 2/15/2010 11:48:08 AM , Rating: 4
This won't do anything to bring down costs. If anything, it'll wind up raising them. At least half the projects funded by this government pork will never even be implemented. The other half will be massively overbudget, riddled with bugs, and eventually wind up needing to be replaced with systems developed entirely by the project sector.

As is usual in government work.


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By jonmcc33 on 2/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: Ding a ling ling...
By porkpie on 2/15/2010 1:17:09 PM , Rating: 4
"You might not realize how much IT is involved behind the scenes"

You might not realize you've utterly misinterpreted my post. I agree entire that IT is a crucial, severely underated aspect of health care. The problem isn't funding of healtchare IT; the problem is government funding.

The dollars here won't go to the projects and products with the best potential. They'll go to the firms best adapted to sucking from the government teat; the people with the most experience writing government funding requests. Also, much of the funding for this comes directly from Healtcare firms, who therefore have LESS to spend on their own IT projects.

We never seem to learn. Anytime the government gets involved in the private sector, it spends 20X as much for 1/5 the return...then, after decades of failing to meet expectations, we ultimately end up privatizing it all back again.


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By zinfamous on 2/15/2010 5:51:39 PM , Rating: 2
you have a valid point concerning the application of funds, but the "mistrust of government efficiency" argument is tired and useless, really.

again, it's an argument predicated on decades and decades of observational data, don't get me wrong...but it's completely useless to sit behind your computer, or a microphone and blare such useless comments to audiences of millions, if all you're going to do is rehash what is already known, rather than do something about it.

It seems that you already feel that no matter who you vote for, the same will continue to happen. Perhaps, but why not pay attention to your representatives, the type of work they actually do? write them. express your concerns. get people behind you.

You seem to believe, as do I, that this type of spending is essential in this battle, but why agree with that only to sit back and proclaim that the government will fuck it up?

why not actually care about the things that affect your life, oh "internet champion of morality and good government?"


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By weskurtz0081 on 2/15/2010 11:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
Just a question, how do you know the person you responded to isn't doing what you insinuate he/she isn't?


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By jstall on 2/16/2010 7:10:36 AM , Rating: 3

Because he spends all his time trolling the DT forums and spouting crap?


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By Nfarce on 2/16/2010 9:27:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because he spends all his time trolling the DT forums and spouting crap?


Translation: I don't like what porkpie posts and I'm not capable of intellectual debate with him and just wet myself every time he posts; then I proudly finish by calling him a DT troll.


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By Kurz on 2/16/2010 10:09:27 AM , Rating: 2
Nfarce that was Brilliant!


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By phantom505 on 2/16/2010 3:23:42 AM , Rating: 1
Any organization too big to be micromanaged is inefficient. This includes corporations. If I had to trust a company that just assumes let me die using their product or a government that wants my tax money I'll take the risk on the government, they don't make money if I'm dead. Corporations however do make money when you are dead...contrary to popular beleif.


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By Kurz on 2/16/2010 10:23:09 AM , Rating: 2
The benefit private industry managing things is if they fail, they will go bankrupt for their mistakes and mismanagement. The problem with throwing all responsiblities at the government is the fact if they fail there are no consquences. Things continue as usual.

10,000 people died because of a badly implemented system.
Government says oh we'll work on it. Private company messes up they lose the contract and future business oppertunties.

There are few things that the government is good for.
Making sure contracts are followed.
Waging wars.
Protecting the citizenry.
And don't forget collecting taxes.

Everything else they often mess up on and often make the situation worse.


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By jstall on 2/16/2010 7:07:58 AM , Rating: 2


lol. That's pretty standard for porkpie.


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By Aloonatic on 2/16/2010 5:59:13 AM , Rating: 2
Dude,

Take a look at the ongoing costs of the UK's attempts to implement an healthcare IT system for the NHS.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8397854.stm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/oct/01/1

£12B to £40B. Yes, estimates, but still £12to £40B! That is in pounds too, not dollars, and it could well end up costing a lot more in the end.

Then take into account that this is government "owned" information, in government owned/run health care trusts, with government owned/run infrastructure...

Linking together the many private healthcare practices and businesses will surely be a great deal more expensive and time consuming in the US too, compared to a centrally controlled health care system like the NHS.


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By 67STANG on 2/15/2010 12:45:42 PM , Rating: 3
At this point, haven't they set aside at least $1B for everything? I think I read somewhere they were looking into money for artificial appendix transplants as well...


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By AstroCreep on 2/15/2010 1:48:47 PM , Rating: 3
Nice try, but everybody knows that "Pork" is a verb. :D


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By zinfamous on 2/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: Ding a ling ling...
By weskurtz0081 on 2/16/2010 12:09:57 AM , Rating: 2
I have a nice long 120 page report that breaks down the costs of the United States heath care industry and compares it to the rest of the developed world.

Do me a favor, since you are telling people that they are "effing clueless", prove to me that you have a clue.

If you don't mind, go ahead and break down the costs of the US health care industry, and tell the forum here what percentage of the cost is related to administration (which is where digital records would fall).

So, out of all the health care spending, how much of it is related to administration, and how much of a decrease percapita should we expect from decreasing administration costs?

Do you think they could conceivably cut the costs in half? Decrease them by 60%, 70%?


RE: Ding a ling ling...
By bubbastrangelove on 2/26/2010 11:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
The United States Government saying they want to take over health care is along the lines of Chrysler saying they want to expand their operation into making airplanes.

How about fixing the stuff you already fubared before taking on more responsibility? Oh wait, that makes sense.


Fck!
By The0ne on 2/15/2010 2:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone realize how fcked up the health IT systems are? It's so fck up some can't and don't even talk to each other. And the government is going to spend 1B for....?

It's not going to be fix, no one wants to fix it, there are millions opposing any new type of PC system, etc.




RE: Fck!
By cmdrdredd on 2/15/2010 8:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's just me but I do NOT, repeat NOT want my PERSONAL HEALTH RECORDS on display for everyone to see anywhere. I want my doctor and my specialist ONLY to know.


RE: Fck!
By phantom505 on 2/16/2010 3:19:58 AM , Rating: 2
You're not that special. Nobody cares. And incidently I will be attending medical school this summer. Get off your high horse.


RE: Fck!
By Kurz on 2/16/2010 3:02:33 PM , Rating: 2
Is not about being special...
Its about privacy... the thing that is protected in the consitution.


RE: Fck!
By weskurtz0081 on 2/16/2010 3:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares if you are going to be attending medical school this summer, it is irrelevant to this argument. Unless, you were trying to prove something with that statement.


Standardization
By Lord 666 on 2/15/2010 11:09:58 AM , Rating: 4
While this is great, the US is throwing money away at too many different systems. As I have said before on here, the pool of qualified EHR packages should be limited to four; ECW, Vista, Google/Microsoft, and a large hospital system like Epic or Next Gen.

If you have a meeting with 25 providers about HIT, there are 25 different opinions of the systems they "need" along with their requirements.

Just the way Microsoft effectively standardized the PC market and increased adoption by doing so, we are just wasting tax payers money until the current administration standardizes EHR systems as well.




RE: Standardization
By BZDTemp on 2/15/10, Rating: 0
RE: Standardization
By MisterMystery on 2/15/2010 3:10:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the pool of qualified EHR packages should be limited to four; ECW, Vista, Google/Microsoft, and a large hospital system like Epic or Next Gen

While I agree that the onslaught of "Johnny-come-lately" vendors looking for their piece of the pie makes it tempting to certify a few of the elite and leave the rest to die of starvation along the roadside, the reality is, we need to create a more specific, intensive certification for ALL electronic patient records (be it EHR, EPM, EDR, Lab, Pharm, etc.) with a key qualifier being true interoperability via HL7 standards; and then open it up for ANY system to qualify. Why block good programs like Sage, Allscripts, Centricity, and others just to simplify the selection process? America is all about the freedom to choose!


RE: Standardization
By brshoemak on 2/15/2010 10:17:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why block good programs like Sage, Allscripts, Centricity, and others just to simplify the selection process?


I would block Allscripts but not because they aren't one of the larger vendors, but because the practice management portion of their suite was a recent acquisition and they aren't ready for proper implementation. During our PM/EHR roll-out they essentially had to create practice management teams on the fly by pulling people from their established EHR software team because they hadn't yet created a team for the PM side anywhere at Allscripts.

I felt like I was beta testing a half-million dollar piece of software. For example -> Us: "We don't want to use Remote Desktop for client access since there is no redundancy if a server goes down and we don't want to have to touch every machine if changes have to be made. Can we just use Citrix XenApp, publish the app and load-balance across the server farm? Them: "Uhhhhhh......(10 minutes later).......maybe. That's how we do it on the EHR side but I'm not sure if it would work on the PM side. We'll create a team and look into it. In the mean time, please hand us a large check for services we have yet to render." C'mon guys, REALLY? It's a common platform, just ask the company you bought your PM suite from - they should know even if you don't.

/sour grapes


Not to seem distrusting, but...
By NicodemusMM on 2/15/2010 11:15:08 AM , Rating: 2
I really hope these organizations read the fine print before they accept any funds. I realize dollar signs are pretty, but that's not all that is on the paperwork...




RE: Not to seem distrusting, but...
By Lord 666 on 2/15/2010 11:47:08 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed about the fine print. Have always said that if I win the lottery, will grant my company a sizeable award. However, there will be some stipulations;

1. There will be a large oil painting commission of myself to be hung in the main conference room. Preferably in a Captain Morgan's type pose.

2. Once a month, at least one meeting will be conducted with silly hats.

3. Two vending machines will be installed that do not charge anything.

4. Corporate wide meeting where I personally will hand out hundred dollar bills to everyone in the company individually to make up for the years of laughable raises.

5. Seat on the board

Failure to comply with any of these requirements would result in the remaining funds to be dispersed to our primary competitor.


By FITCamaro on 2/15/2010 12:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
Can they be pirate hats?


By Lord 666 on 2/15/2010 11:48:36 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed about the fine print. Have always said that if I win the lottery, will grant my company a sizeable award. However, there will be some stipulations;

1. There will be a large oil painting commission of myself to be hung in the main conference room. Preferably in a Captain Morgan's type pose.

2. Once a month, at least one meeting will be conducted with silly hats.

3. Two vending machines will be installed that do not charge anything.

4. Corporate wide meeting where I personally will hand out hundred dollar bills to everyone in the company individually to make up for the years of laughable raises.

5. Seat on the board

Failure to comply with any of these requirements would result in the remaining funds to be dispersed to our primary competitor.


Just for comparison.
By Director on 2/15/2010 3:25:24 PM , Rating: 1
Well I suppose that 1bn is better than nothing, keep in mind though that he's just asked for another 5bn to increase the size of America's NUCLEAR arsenal, just what the world needs. lols, go team America, at least your priorities are right.




RE: Just for comparison.
By porkpie on 2/15/2010 5:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
Um, no. Actually what he asked for was funds to modernize the production and maintenance of our nuclear arsenal, not to increase its size.

"...at least your priorities are right."

They sure are. Free dentures aren't much comfort when you're living (or dying) under the rule of some Marxist dictator.


RE: Just for comparison.
By Felofasofa on 2/15/2010 7:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
Marxist dictator? Such as? Every post from you is fear, which is to be expected from such a spineless entity. When the revolution comes you'll be amongst the first eaten, I'll make sure of it, and then we'll really hear you squeal.


This is old news
By callmeroy on 2/15/2010 11:49:04 AM , Rating: 3
I work for firm that specializes in Health Care IT (as well as financial consulting, compliance reviews, salary surveys, etc. -- for the health care industry). Some of the money related to this was allocated almost a year ago now (about 8-10 months).

I just install, configure and support the technology -- but I'm no sales man (not by a long shot) -- so I'm not skilled in "selling" why EMR systems are some whiz bang great new thing to have. Except for the fact it keeps me employed and if you saw some of the record keeping at some clinics before they got EMR up and running you'd be pretty shocked (yeah at some places it *is* that bad), over all I agree we probably should be controlling our spending more than ever right now.




Unreal
By bubbastrangelove on 2/26/2010 11:16:27 AM , Rating: 2
The United States Government saying they want to take over health care is along the lines of Chrysler saying they want to expand their operation into making airplanes.

How about fixing the stuff you already fubared before taking on more responsibility? Oh wait, that makes sense.




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