Why Healthcare Is So Messed Up

We all know that the healthcare is broken in this country. The reasons vary from person to person and depend on which industry segment they work for. GetReferralMD has summarized a numbers of reasons (eleven to be precise) why American healthcare industry is completely screwed up – from a neutral third party view.

Administrative costs in Health Care

While some may disagree with some points listed by the author, I strongly feel that these are true to a significant extent. Unless every one realizes these issues and works to address remedies, there is minimal chance of improvement in the healthcare scenario in the near future. By everyone I mean “the citizens of this country as healthcare consumers to the government represented by the bloated bureaucracy and self-centered politicians”.

Here are the reasons listed:

      • Insurance Companies
      • Excessive Regulation
      • Shortage of Doctors
      • Medical Advances
      • Paper
      • Ignorance
      • Choice to Die
      • McDonalds (or fast food restaurents)
      • Cluster shit of EMRs
      • Healthcare Vs. Military
      • Pharmaceutical Companies

I would add a few more reasons such as carbonated beverage companies (coupled with fast foods, are the major causes for obesity and demand for significant healthcare spending), the healthcare consumers spoiled by the entitlement mindset and insurance, and the hospitals / doctors / service providers combo.

Here is the link for the full blog post on GetReferralMD and interesting discussion by the readers.

Comprehensive Home Health Care and Private Duty Care Online Directory Launched

LTC Technologies has launched a comprehensive Home Health Care and Private Duty Care Online Directory recently. Home Health Care is savior for millions of seniors and younger patients in US. With minimal family support and skyrocketing prices of Assisted Living and Residential Care Homes, boomers and others needing healthcare opt for home based health care.

Free Home Health Care Agncy Finder AppThe directory is also available for use on smartphones and tablets. Take a look at the following website for more information on home care directory app.

Home Health Care Agency Finder

What is Home Care?

Home health care is provided by home health agencies and independent home care providers. Home health agencies are approved and certified by CMS for Medicare payment eligibility.

The directory also contains listings of home care providers offering non-medical personal care such as companion care, daily living activities support, transportation services, etc. These services are not reimbursed by Medicare. Some agencies provide both medical and non-medical care.

Home health care includes post-surgery care, disease management care (for diabetes, cardiac issues, etc.), therapies (physical therapy, occupational therapy, voice therapy, infusion therapy), medication administration, wound care, hospice support and care, etc.

Many home care agencies provide home medical equipment (HME) and care supplies.

Why Home Health Care?

As mentioned above, health care costs are shooting up, especially for seniors. Millions of baby boomers joining the retirement population and increasing pressure on Medicare and Social Security benefits, seniors has to look for ways and means of availing cheaper health care assistance.

Also, living in their own home provides much better environment for healing and living life with dignity. Moving to an assisted living home can be postponed until they need 24 x 7 support in activities of daily living (ADLs) and much closer supervision.

Here is an additional resource from LTC Technologies on In-Home Care: Home Care Resources

e-patients Whitepaper – Tom Ferguson

Pioneering author, physician, and researcher Tom Ferguson coined the term e-patients to describe individuals who are equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged in their health and healthcare decisions. He envisioned health care as an equal partnership between e-patients and the health professionals and the health systems that support them.

Here is the link for e-patient whitepaper produced by Tom Ferguson, MD, and the e-patients Scholars Working Group.

The whitepaper consists of the following informative chapters:

  • Hunters and Gatherers of Medical Information
  • Content, Connectivity and Communityware
  • Patient-centered Networks – Connected Communities of Care
  • The Surprisingly Complex World of e-Communities
  • e-Patients as Medical Researchers
  • Learning from e-Patients
  • The Autonomous Patient and Reconfiguration of Medical Knowledge

We do hope that all clinicians and care professionals would whole-heartedly embrace the concept of empowered and informed patients, leveraged by information technology.

Gimme My DaM Health Data

This is a follow up to the earlier post on personal health data and empowering patients to make right decisions – Patients Should Own Their Data to Make Medical Care Better.

Clinicians, policy makers, everyone can only perform at the top of their training if the relevant information is available where and when it’s needed. Here is another speech by Dave deBronkart (also known as epatient Dave) on the value of liberating health data from the clutches of the legacy health care systems.

You can read the full post here: http://epatientdave.com/2012/06/03/information-at-the-point-where-its-needed-can-save-a-life-new-speech

Liberating the health care and clinical data is a win-win situation for all the parties involved including the patients, physicians, and the payors.

Let us hope that the recent developments in the technology such as cloud computing and proliferation of the smart phone / tablet devices will help engaging the patients by liberating personal health care data by Health Information Technology (HIT) solution providers.

Patients Should Own Their Data to Make Medical Care Better

With the government (partially) mandating Electronic Medical Records and sharing of data with patients and other healthcare providers, there is a lot of discussion about the ownership of healthcare data. While the vast majority of people think that the patients should own and control the data, health care community’s views differ.

When Dave deBronkart learned he had a rare and terminal cancer, he turned to a group of fellow patients online — and found the medical treatment that saved his life. Now he calls on all patients to talk with one another, know their own health data, and make health care better one e-Patient at a time.

David deBronkart, better known as “e-patient Dave,” was diagnosed in January 2007 with kidney cancer at a very late stage. Odds were stacked against him, with tumors in both lungs, several bones and muscle tissue. He received great treatment, and was able to fight through and win the battle over his cancer.  His last treatment was July 23, 2007, and by September it was clear he’d beaten the disease. View the TED video above and follow the comments below the TED post.

deBronkart is now actively engaged in opening health care information directly to patients on an unprecedented level, thus creating a new dynamic in how information is delivered, accessed and used by the patient. Check out his website ePatientDave.com for discussions and additional information.