RUSH: The New York Times. I hate to break this to you. Do you remember when they were touting digitizing health records, making everybody’s health records electronic so that they would be easily available to doctors and medical professionals? Of course, not scammers. They would never get them, of course not. Only the people that needed to see your health records would ever be able to. They’d take care of that.
They said, “It’s gonna really make things cheaper. We have to do this because health care costs are just out of control, causing the deficit, causing the national debt. We’ve gotta get our arms around this.” So the majority of people said, “Okay, fine. Go ahead. Let’s digitize our records.” Well, I hate to tell you, but the New York Times has a story on this. Here’s the headline: “In 2nd Look, Few Savings From Digital Health Records.”
Oh, no. Now, I remember when I first heard about this I didn’t believe any of it. I heard about digitizing health records, and I warned everybody in the audience, “It isn’t gonna save anybody any money. It’s gonna cost money to do this, more than if we didn’t, and it’s not gonna help privacy. It’s gonna be the exact opposite.” I said it in a very confident, sure-of-myself way, which I’m sure made 24-year-old girls nervous.
Once again, I turned out to be right.
New York Times: “The conversion to electronic failed records has failed so far,” Really? Duh! (laughing) “to produced the hoped-for savings in health care.”
Do you realize nothing is accomplishing savings in health care?
RUSH: Something that you may not remember. You may not have known it to begin with. Some of the stimulus money, a significant amount of Obama’s stimulus money, went into digitizing health care records. In fact, the stimulus created a whole new bureaucracy, The National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, to oversee digitizing health records. Now, remember why we did it. We did it to save money. What we were told was that digitizing health records would save money, and after it saved money, then it would make them immediately available on any doctor or nurse’s computer, any medical professional’s computer.
If you’re in an emergency, medical emergency, and you’re away from all the doctors who know you, your health records will be available immediately on any medical professional’s computer and your treatment will be immediate. And this is going to save a lot of people. And people said, “What about theft of people’s records? You start digitizing them and people are gonna know everybody’s medical history.” They assured us that wouldn’t happen, and they assured us that we would save all kinds of money.
It now turns out, according to the New York Times, that evil doctors and hospitals are using this online network to overcharge for services. Yes, my friends. “Few Savings From Digital Health Records.”
“The self-proclaimed ‘newspaper of record’ is re-writing history a little here. The only reason this Rand study was significant because, in March 2009, Obama claimed changing over to digital records would save $80 billion dollars a year. And he used this claimed $80B savings as a major selling point for Obamacare, which mandates the change over to digital records. And, yes, Obama based his claim on the Rand’s study in 2005. But it was common knowledge that the study had been funded by interested parties,” like GE and Hewlett-Packard and Xerox, crony capitalism, people that would benefit financially from the whole process of digitizing health records.
The New York Times even notes this in passing in their story. “Several top Harvard doctors pointed out in the Wall Street Journal immediately after Obama started touting the study,” that it wasn’t going to be save any money. And now it hasn’t, and the New York Times, “Eh, you know what? On second look, there are few savings from digital health records. Well, what are we gonna do now? Too late now. We did it. Just want to let you people know there aren’t going to be any health savings. Still don’t worry about your privacy. It’s not gonna be a problem.” Right.
RUSH: Andrew, Mandeville, Louisiana, it’s great to have you here. Hello, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. First I’d like to just thank you for the opportunity to talk on your show. I wanted to just make a comment about what you were talking about earlier on health care records.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: I’m a physician, and I’ve used a variety of different systems and just want to say that, you know, they’re not necessarily this panacea that’s gonna make everything better. It’s still a relatively new technology that needs a lot of work, and also, that software development, as you may know and can be very, very labor intensive and expensive.
RUSH: The data input alone could take eons.
CALLER: Yeah, so a lot of these are too expensive and they don’t add enough value to make it worth it for small —
RUSH: So why was there a big push to digitize health records, then?
CALLER: You know, I think you can speculate on that, but just as an aside, there’s a variety of different things that computers come into play in health care, and things like getting laboratory data and looking at radiology, you know, X-rays and MRIs, that stuff is excellent, and almost everybody uses that anyway. The health record side, there’s a lot more work that needs to be done with it. In some cases it’s actually made things a little bit worse.
RUSH: Well, you’re gonna have to need things like database insurance. What if somebody inputs incorrect data that results in you administering treatment that’s not exactly called for? It’s wide open for snafus.