Spending on digitized medical records criticized
WASHINGTON — Federal investigators are questioning whether money allocated to digitize Americans' medical records is being spent properly.
A sharply critical report released Thursday by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services says the dispersal of $7 billion set aside in Medicare to serve as an incentive to individual doctors and hospitals to convert paper records to digital isn't being properly vetted, The New York Times said. In some cases, the new digital records systems may be resulting in doctors — who the federal government paid to convert to computerized records — billing Medicare at a higher rate than before they switched.
Those doctors and hospitals opting to convert to digital records must demonstrate how it will improve patient care to get the money — such as using the digital records to cross-reference a patient's prescriptions and avoid potentially harmful combinations. The inspector general's report questions whether this is happening and said Medicare's lax oversight of the program can't guarantee that those who have gotten the money — about $3.6 billion has been spent so far — ever showed how it would improve the standard of care.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- U.S. clears police officer in Ferguson case, criticizes police force
- Expanded background checks pushed again on gun show, Internet purchases
- Top Senate Republican to states: Ignore EPA carbon rules
- Tsarnaev’s lawyer admits he carried out Boston bombing
- Physicians’ organization cites shortages of doctors will grow, mostly in senior care
- Feds raid ‘maternity hotels’ in Ca.
- Supremacist to go on trial for capital murder in slayings of 3 at Jewish sites in Kan.
- Nurse who survived Ebola virus says Dallas hospital failed her
- Carnegie Mellon expert to school Congress on security
- $4.8M in gold taken in armored truck hijacking in North Carolina
- States ask judge not to lift stay in immigration lawsuit