Medicare Bills Rise as Records Turn Electronic
I could not believe this; online record-keeping was intended to reduce costs – and be better in every way! But I underestimated the greed of the medical system. It, like every other industry, is determined to grab every dollar that is not nailed down. They refer to this as aggressive billing.
For instance, the portion of patients that the emergency department at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica, N.Y., claimed required the highest levels of treatment — and thus higher reimbursements — rose 43 percent in 2009. That was the same year the hospital began using electronic health records.
The share of highest-paying claims at Baptist Hospital in Nashville climbed 82 percent in 2010, the year after it began using a software system for its emergency room records
Critics say the abuses are widespread. “It’s like doping and bicycling,” said Dr. Donald W. Simborg, who was the chairman of federal panels examining the potential for fraud with electronic systems. “Everybody knows it’s going on.”
I am grateful for medical progress – I just got my yearly flu shot yesterday (very necessary in a topical climate). But as someone who knows something about software, I can only marvel at how it has gotten out of control.
The tail is now wagging the dog.