Archive for the ‘Healthcare Reform’ Category
The nation is focused on the story of a 10 year old girl dying of Cystic Fibrosis. A judge has just ordered that she be placed on the waiting list for an adult lung transplant, rather than follow current federal policy that children under 12 be on a separate list. The media are telling us that the judge is saving her life. That is only half of the story.
Obesity is becoming a BIG issue in the US and around the world. Countries which struggled to find enough food only decades ago now have growing numbers of overweight and obese citizens. Along with increased weight, we are seing huge increases in diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Who or what is to blame?
Sugar is one obvious suspect. About 80% of all prepared foods in the US contain sugar, high fructose corn-syrup, and other calorie rich sweeteners. Some health policy activists are pushing for government regulation of sugar as a toxic and addictive substance – like tobacco and alcohol.
Access to medical insurance is not the same as access to medical care. Access to medical insurance was the objective of “Obamacare”. The second issue, access to medical care, has not been addressed at all.
Here in Iowa, access to medical care is getting tougher to find. Primary Care Physicians are retiring faster than they are being replaced. Nurse Practicioners and Physician Assistants are increasing, but nowhere near fast enough to fill the vacancies. Nearly 40% of the MD and DO docs are over 60. We are slowing down and many will soon retire. We are decreasing the number of healthcare providers while adding access to insurance to another 40,000,000 people. How will this help access to medical care?
Enhanced Electronic Medical Records. They tell us we will love it eventually. At the beginning of week 2 that is hard to believe. Clearly the new software is a work in progress. Several key features have major bugs, mostly because the federal guidelines are still changing.
Healthcare Reform has mandated that we adopt Enhanced Electronic Medical Records. The enhancements will allow us to document compliance with numerous new reporting requirements. Many of the required reports have nothing to do with the patient’s current visit, but will enhance government statistics of overall trends in national health measures.