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Subject: RAINdrop: A Spoonful of Sugar: On the Affordable Health Care Act
From: Dwight WALLIS <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 9 Mar 2012 09:32:35 -0800

text/plain (40 lines)

From The Nation: This book review of Paul Starr's "Remedy and Reaction: The
Peculiar American Struggle Over Health Care Reform" offers an interesting
take on both the subject of health care reform historically, and the
development of the current Affordable Health Care Act. While it is, to a
large extent, a plea to progressives who wanted a single payer system to
support the act, of interest to Records Managers is the importance of "a
common taxonomy for diseases and procedures and standard reporting methods
for billing from hospitals and medical offices." On page 4:

"The key issue here, and one not to be underestimated going forward, is the
integrative power of information technology. Once, nothing less than a
single bureaucracy, exploiting centralized information databases, was
required to execute claims-processing transactions efficiently. No more. So
long as standards are adhered to—which the Affordable Care Act
mandates—nodes in distributed networks (doctors’ offices, hospitals,
pharmacies) are perfectly capable of supplying or aggregating data from
federated sources without transaction costs that are appreciably higher
than what was once available only from a mainframe. Physicians wouldn’t
need a single-payer system to gain efficiencies and curtail administrative
costs any more than they would need, say, all patients who pay with a
credit card to be customers of a single bank. Streamlined electronic
billing and credentialing could save $32 billion a year. Incidentally,
co-ops and nonprofits—other kinds of public options—would benefit the same
way private insurers would.",0

Dwight Wallis, CRM
Multnomah County Records Management Program
1620 SE 190th Avenue
Portland, OR 97233
ph: (503)988-3741
fax: (503)988-3754
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