I commented the same thoughts on this when Dow Jones filed their lawsuit and folks that don’t wrote code or work with data bases have no clue on the work and expense this involves, and just cop out to “we want transparency”.  I say get a little digital literacy to go along with transparency you want.  In the time of budget cuts and other issues what in the world will this accomplish?  Do just put a bill like this out there because you can?  Grassley and the rest of them have never seen the complexity of medical billing, a shame, other wise they wouldn’t open mouth and insert foot.  Most consumers have never seen it either, so nobody has a clue of what they are wanting and talking about…this is hilarious. 

Medicare Data Base–It Is Not Ready for Prime Time To Expose to the Web Due to Errors Factors and Consumer Credibility In It’s Present State Relating to Physician Records

They think this is such a simple easy job, well look at the MD rating sites, heck they are riddled with dead doctors, retired doctors, doctors affiliated with hospitals they have never set foot in.  Where there is money to be saved in “cloud” services, the digital illiterate denied funding for that so what gives here and again no offense, but digital illiteracy is at the heart of understanding needs and how to create laws and funding. 

HealthGrades And Other MD Rating and Referral Sites List “Dead Doctors” on Their MD Information Pages And Even Include the Insurance Plans the “Dead Doctors” Honor

I researched that one and talked with doctors and we looked and I thank the ones who gave me even more feedback via email too.  The article below has a lot of information too on what insurance companies own and how they function with processing claims so if you learn up, give it a read.  Read the next few paragraphs from a post I made in January.

Dow Jones Files Lawsuit Against HHS To Overturn Ruling To imageKeep Medicare Physician Compensation Confidential In the False Name of Transparency-Distraction is More Like It

This is the biggest filing to create nothing more than a huge distraction and source of disruption that I have seen this year.  Again, like so many other items we see in the news today, with the general consumer having no idea how data and mathematics works, this is yet just one more exploit.  I read the articles from the Wall Street Journal that were published and even commented on a couple of them I believe.  Dow Jones is the owner of the Wall Street Journal which I enjoy reading and they do a good job; however, this to me is going one step too far. 

In order to appreciate the bizarre nature of this lawsuit we need a little bit of history here as this should be seen as a witch hunt, which is pretty much what we have here with throwing stones.  This is not the first time the Medicare data base has come under question and for the last 30 years the AMA has blocked the attempts to make such information public.  The Journal found some good examples of a couple of situations to where fraud was found by running algorithmic formulas to find items that were in fact suspicious and with additional follow up, yes there was a lot to question with those 2 doctors.  The Journal as I remember asked for some data to analyze and HHS gave them some sample data to look at. 

So what is this going to accomplish here?  This bill wants HHS to foot all the cost for this, but wait a minute are not not talking cutting funds…some thing IT grows on trees and this no finer example.  I am beginning to think that Congressmen just grown on trees <grin>.  Yeah, let HHS start to work on it and then you can expect the digital illiterate Spanish Inquisition on their IT projects to arise next <grin>.

Do Some Think That Health IT Costs and Systems Grow On Trees-Certainly Starting To Give That Impression of Late

Let’s just shake down some more doctors and consumers with this, that is what this amounts too as we have already seen MD rating sites don’t get it right and any outside agency or HHS is going to have a huge work pile with this and it will be full of errors.  Doctors will look bad as if they had a few bad billers this will show and many will look like crooks when they are not.  Consumers will be mad and this will serve to be a huge distraction and disruption and how many consumers will really use it probably not many as they are too busy just trying to live these days. 

I have been pro-active and suggesting the IBM Watson type of technology for Congress too to help them with getting the information they need as with speech recognition, it takes the lowest common denominator in Congress with digital literacy and let’s them participate easily so nobody gets left out and can query the information they want. Now what’s wrong with a more intelligent processing Congress?   Nothing I think, but luddites don’t change fast and they can’t see value, otherwise this post would not exist about this bill and waste of time and money. 

It is too bad that Medicare years ago didn’t get the same IT Infrastructure as Social Security did as they are self contained cheap to run and very efficient and it run on COBOL.  The image below is kind of interesting in the fact that if one has a Congressional issue with Medicare, you can get a response from a Wellpoint email address <grin>.  It’s not that bad and upgrades will done, but the check go out, and everyone is happy.  Actually Social Security exchanges medical records too with disability claims.  Again it runs cheap and efficient. 

Unfortunately the politics got involved years ago and that is why Medicare has a skeleton IT infrastructure as the insurance companies (as contractors) built an IT system to run all of it and it’s all under their umbrellas.  Maybe not a smart move years ago by politicians but we are stuck in the “pay me later mode” for those decisions now.  In the meantime, those on Wall Street, hedge funds and others see the value in business intelligence and it appears IBM is making their way to a sale in that area since they couldn’t find anyone in Washington that saw the value of being intelligent and having the ability to have instant information with everyone in discussion seeing the same queried information, from the FDA, GAO or whatever.  They still seem to like snail mail and this gives hedge funds one more advantage to the battle to where we keep taking knives to gun wars sadly, all based on digital illiteracy and non participation with technology.

Sad they just saw the whole IBM presentation as a game from what I have read on the web and couldn’t find a sole in Congress to see the value.  BD 

IBM Watson Capabilities Being Pitched to Financial Industry-Congress Must Not Have Felt They Needed This So Further Behind We Fall With Effective Intelligent Lawmaking

On Thursday, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Medicare Data Access for Transparency and Accountability Act (S 756), which would overturn a 1979 court injunction that bars the government from revealing the amount individual physicians are paid by Medicare, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The bill also would require HHS to make the data, which would not include patient identities, available at no cost (Schoofs/Tamman, Wall Street Journal, 4/8).

Senators Introduce Bill To Open Up Access to Medicare Database - iHealthBeat


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