This was posted some time ago, However I think that in light of the recent passage of Health Care Reform, it still applies.
My banker called me today to alert me to the fact that my checking account was ‘over-deposited’. There were several deposits from the U.S. Treasury department that were transferred electronically over the weekend following President Obama’s signing the ‘stimulus bill’. My bank (one of those saved from the brink of extinction by a previous large U.S. Treasury check) alerted me to the fact that my check from the U.S. Treasury would take at least two years to clear, (and not count on the cash until they saw the green.) Unlike California my banker does not issue or accept I.O.U.s.
Even with those precautions I was very excited to see a 50 with 9 zeroes after it (5 X 10th ) dollars on the deposit side of my bank ledger. Given my big interest in Health IT and EMR my thoughts began to wander to my ‘candy store’ ideas about IT and EMRs.
For the past five years my interests drifted away from clinical patient care and ophthalmology have revolved around writing and studying about EMRs and Health Information Exchanges. I have dealt with many vendors, RHIOs, state organizations, ordinary hospitals, ordinary physicians, public health agencies, and other “voluntary champions” for HIT and EMR. Anyone looking for the ‘deeper meaning’ of my rants can read my blog archive over the past four years. Health Train Express is still published on a weekly basis. What I have gleaned about the value of writing a blog is not what I write but what I read and learn about non clinical issues from other bloggers.
Some of the questions I would present to my readers are the following:
1. Can I dip into this fund for paying my cell phone and smartphone bill, if they are used for my medical practice?
2. Can I use these funds to pay for my internet and /or broadband access?
3. My children go to college. Can I employ them to telecommute to transcribe notes, and/or bill for me and buy laptops with these funds?
4. Can I invest these funds in the market to maximize their value.
5. I have a lot of machines that produce a lot of data and they need to be interconnected to my server. Can these funds be used to buy the machines, software, and network?
6. Can I use these funds to attend courses in regard to health IT (most are nearby in Las Vegas or San Diego). Can I take a vendor to lunch?
7. Can I buy pencils, coffee cups, pens, buttons, tic-tac notes, and have ONCHIT logo emblazoned on them?
8. Can I produce a symposium with all expenses paid for the attendees and pay a tidy sum to the speakers?
9. Do you have any other questions?
I called some of my ‘acquaintances’ in ‘industry’ to hear their feedback. There was a lot of heavy breathing and excitement, as they anticipated a tsunami of green dollars washing over their pre-paid homes they had options on during the recent foreclosure auctions. Some were confused about which was the best hybrid vehicle to buy, and most stated they would buy a different one for each day of the month. This in itself would infuse cash into the American Auto market (if they buy American).
I have a few undisclosed wiretaps and email monitoring software.
Here are some of the tidbits I have read and/or heard.
“Harry HealthIT” who is the CEO of EMR RUNAMOK Inc. at his weekly chat conference to his sales reps “This is the break we all have been waiting for. Buy up some smaller companies right away and re label them as EMR RUNAMOK. We can maximize our gain with very little effort or investment in writing software.” Buy one of those voice mail tree software systems so that one person can run the whole company. After we have sold them for a year or two we can sell our company and retire….Change our phone numbers to save money and confuse our clients as well.
And finally can I lobby for a bailout in about two years to offset the reduced reimbursement from medicare and private payors based upon the ‘new efficiencies’ of our ‘Health Information Network System?”