Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Want My Health Care Easy

Imagine a time when you can log onto Facebook, click on your Doctor's profile, schedule a appointment for the next few days, fill out a quick form with a list of what's ailing you, happy in the knowledge that your medical information will be electronically transferred to his medical and office software for quick diagnosis and easy billing.

Facebook's easy to use, consumer friendly medical insurance app would monitor the Doctor's invoice, the insurance company's payments for any errors, while anonymous data about your condition, diagnosis and treatment would be sent to the CDC so it could monitor for pandemic flu and other diseases.

All of this would happen with a few clicks of the mouse.

Science fiction right?

Electronic health records (EHR) have been talked about forever and a day it seems. I remember sitting through a compelling presentation at the AeA four years ago about EHR. Microsoft and Google have SaaS offerings already up. Everyone agrees that EHR will be consumer friendly, increase reporting, preserve privacy, save Doctors money- so why doesn't happen?

Probably because the whole healthcare industry is so fractured, non-functional and distorted by haphazard government regulation that something this, well simple, has to wait until everything else wrong with healthcare gets fixed first.

How messed up is it? Here are five healthcare experts talking on a NYTimes blog with five different takes on healthcare reform. They each have an axe to grind but none of them seems to have a holistic solution.

What do you think? Even given that the President is setting aside $600B for health care reform, will it work? Can it work?
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