In the midst of the “meaningful use” proposed rule release comes more research questioning some of the value attributed to implementation of EHRs. The first survey of physicians found that while they view EHRs as useful for billing documentation, the doctors don’t find them particularly helpful in care coordination. The second shows a range of rankings of value from specific vendors.
National health spending growth slowed in 2008, but still grew at a rate much faster than GDP, meaning health care continues to account for a greater share of total GDP. More alarming, the rate of federal spending on health care grew much faster than the overall spending increase.
States have often been leaders in experimenting with different methods of delivering and financing health care. West Virginia commissioned a report to identify methods by which it might reduce costs, while increasing coverage and not harming quality.
PWC examines the future market for personalized medicine and services, which it defines broadly as including not only genomics, but wellness and prevention services tailored toward the individual. PWC foresees many entrants into and significant growth for this market.
EBRI releases the results of its latest survey of members in consumer-directed, or high deductible, health plans. These members are generally satisfied and exhibit more cost-conscious behaviors and use wellness services more extensively than persons in non-consumer directed plans.
A report suggests that the reforms proposed in the Senate and House bills will lower costs far more than CBO or others project, but the reasoning seems shaky, particularly in estimating lower health costs resulting from coverage.
An article published in the Milbank Quarterly looked at the results of numerous studies of electronic health or medical record implementations, finding a mismatch between assumptions or beliefs about their value and what really occurred, particularly in regard to clinical improvement.
CBO analyzes the final version of the Senate bill, finding the same effect on coverage and the federal deficit. Once again, the cost reduction which pays for coverage subsidies is vaporous and there is little true reform in this bill.