Home » Readers Write » Currently Reading:

Readers Write: Dueling Myths: Interoperability and Bending the Cost Curve 1/23/13

January 23, 2013 Readers Write No Comments

Submit your article of up to 500 words in length, subject to editing for clarity and brevity (please note: I run only original articles that have not appeared on any Web site or in any publication and I can’t use anything that looks like a commercial pitch). I’ll use a phony name for you unless you tell me otherwise. Thanks for sharing!

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors personally and are not necessarily representative of their current or former employers.

Dueling Myths: Interoperability and Bending the Cost Curve
By David Lareau

1-23-2013 7-25-06 PM

We’ve been hearing for so long about how interoperability is going to do wonderful things that we may have lost sight of the fact that it isn’t actually real yet.

Just look at the sharing of patient clinical information between systems. HHS has just come out with a press release in which they highlight that the penalty per incident for HIPAA violations can be as high as $1.5M. Healthcare executives are being told, “Make your system interoperable, but if you make a mistake, you’ll pay.” Is it any wonder vendors have put clinical data in silos with massive protections around it?

Maybe a bit of reality is getting through. At least they removed the requirement to process incoming clinical quality measure data from MU stage 2, although that seems like a moot point since no one is sending it out except to the government.

But even with these mixed messages in our industry, there is hope. Within the next year or so, new companies will enter the market with systems that are being designed from the ground up to share and distribute clinical information using some of the same methods as social networks. One of the key factors in getting to market quickly for these new entrants is that they don’t have to build upon 15 or more years of “already poured concrete.”

A front-page article in the Washington Post this week said that healthcare is driving job growth in the Washington, DC, area. Read a bit further and you get to these tidbits:

  • “Northern Virginia’s Inova Health System added about 1,000 positions in 2012”
  • “The growth at Inova last year was largely a result of a major initiative to overhaul its medical records program”

OK, I love it that people are gearing up to update their systems and that jobs are being created, but someone please tell me how that helps us bend the cost curve down? I’m not hearing much about clinician productivity increasing, and I seem to remember from Econ 101 that there is an inverse relationship between cost and productivity. Productivity goes down, cost goes up, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, we hear rumors about Meaningful Use Stage 4 when we’re trying to read the crystal ball about Stage 3 and gear up for ICD-10-CM. I must tell you, I don’t know about the cost curve bending down any time soon, but I sure can tell you that my anxiety curve is going up.

David Lareau is chief executive officer of Medicomp Systems of Chantilly, VA.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only

HIStalk Featured Sponsors


Subscribe to Updates



Text Ads

Report News and Rumors

No title

Anonymous online form
Rumor line: 801.HIT.NEWS



Founding Sponsors


Platinum Sponsors





























































Gold Sponsors
















Reader Comments

  • Sam Lawrence: Except in this case, coding = medical billing, not development. Though the same warning may be true...
  • BeenThere: Partners will find the savings from their cuts of coders as fools gold. There are a lot of hidden costs running an outs...
  • JC: If there is not there can be. VistA has a reference lab interface that can create the manifests/labeling and such as we...
  • Tom Cornwell: Great stuff from Dr. Jayne as usual. One small typo, last sentence of second-to-last paragraph: should be 'who's' not 'w...
  • HIT Observer: What I find most interesting here, is people defending their common practices rather than truly taking this as invaluabl...
  • Bob: There's no incentive for the provider to spend time doing a price comparison for the patient. Nor is it a good use of th...
  • Peppermint Patty: Veteran - can you clarify what was "fake "? Was something made up (definition of fake) or did you disagree with Vapo...
  • Pat Wolfram: Such a refreshing article. Thanks -- there really can be a simpler version of an acute HIT implementation. But I do ...
  • Woodstock Generation: Bravo to HIStalk's Weekender recaps and other news/opinions. I read it first thing on Monday mornings..................
  • Veteran: #fakenews...

Sponsor Quick Links