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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Discrimination in Play for Health Reform in California


Discrimination in Play for Health Reform in California


CALHIPSO, or California Health Information Partnership & Services Organization has issued a brief regarding it’s services which will only be available to primary care physicians.

The California Health Information Partnership and Services Organization (CalHIPSO) is an organization founded by clinical providers, for clinical providers, to help them successfully navigate through the complicated world of electronic health records (EHR) implementation. Our founding organizations are the California Medical Association (CMA), the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) and the California Association of Public Hospitals & Health Systems (CAPH).


CalHIPSO is primarily supported through stimulus funding made available from the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to support the ability of 100,000 clinical providers nationwide to adopt EHR by the year 2014. Beginning in 2011, Medicare and Medi-Cal will make payments between $44,000 and $63,750 per provider to those who can demonstrate that they are “meaningfully using” EHRs. The sooner you can demonstrate “meaningful use,” the more funding you will receive since EHR incentive payments will end in 2014.

It is apparent that although federally funded by all our tax dollars these funds are unavailable to specialists.

It seems to me that communication between primary care and specialty practices is not a meaningful use for EMRs according to CMS & HHS. It is also blatantly apparent the guise of EMR is to extract data from EMRs and not to improve quality of care. Without a tight integration between primary care and specialty care there is a breakdown and further decrease in efficiency. How are outcomes going to be truly assessed without input from specialty care, (aren’t most surgeries performed by surgeons?) many of whom do primary care medicine.

Apparently the California Medical Association also does not support specialty care. Regardless of whether one supports the implementation of EMR and HIE it behooves all physicians to notify CMA of our displeasure at being de-selected from their representation.

Also, because the number of specialty care physicians outweigh the number of primary care physicians our combined membership in CMA would carry significant weight. (or perhaps specialty physicians have already quit CMA and AMA realizing they do not represent us.

This message is personal opinion only and does not represent the opinions of Docs4PatientCare. 


Gary M. Levin M.D.

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