Although it is becoming increasingly obvious to serious policy wonks of all political persuasions that Health IT is not the panacea it has been made out to be, Barack Obama is still peddling EMR as a magical elixir. Newsweek has a good piece about this particular brand of Dr. Obama’s snake oil:

He claims that a shift to electronic medical records will help save families up to $2,500 a year in his first term. Independent experts say that’s wishful thinking.

Why is Senator Obama making such implausible claims about the potential savings associated with EMR adoption?

These rosy projections make universal health care seem almost painless, particularly when the savings estimates far outweigh the costs of Obama’s plan (his campaign projects $50 billion to $65 billion a year in new government funds).

In other words, Obama’s health care “reform” plan promises to be horrifically expensive. So, in order to obscure its cost, he is misrepresenting the savings potential of EMR adoption. But his numbers are so preposterous that they have apparently been disputed by at least one member of his own campaign:

We find his statements to be overly optimistic, misleading and, to some extent, contradicted by one of his own advisers.

I don’t think Dr. Obama’s EMR snake oil qualifies as ”change we can believe in.” Do you?

Comments 2

  1. SmartDoc wrote:

    “electronic medical records will help save families up to $2,500 a year in his first term.”

    Obama is either a certifable moron and/or an shameless deceitful charlatan. I lean to the latter.

    Posted 18 Jun 2008 at 7:41 pm
  2. Georg wrote:

    The feds are pushing EMRs so that they can prosecute health care providers more easily for healthcare fraud, abuse, and waste. In this way, they hope to recoup money. It is so much easier to audit and read the medical records since they are typed and timed in EMR format. Also, and most importantly, EMRs are considered legal documents (the paper medical records are considered hearsay under federal law) and many of the legal rights that one has when using paper documents are thrown out when one uses EMRs. In fact, under the current laws, if the user of EMR is accused by the feds of impropriety, the burden of proof is on the accused, whereas with paper documents, the burden of proof is on the accuser, namely, the feds. Also, under current laws if the EMR is hacked into, there is a heavy penalty that potentially can reach fines of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. All the EMR vendors have a non-liability disclaimer in the contracts in fine print, so if their EMR programs are hacked into, they aren’t liable, but the unwary health care provider is. It’s beyond belief that all the EMR vendors I’ve encountered claim that their system is hack proof, but if the Pentagon, FBI, CIA internet systems (who supposedly have trillions of taxpayer dollars at their disposal for security purposes) can be breached, I don’t know why the lowly public sector EMR vendor companies’ security systems would be so much more superior.

    Posted 17 Feb 2013 at 2:30 am

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