NOVEMBER 30, 2012
In a classic example of how government blows through your tax dollars, billions have been squandered on a faulty electronic medical records system that operates with no oversight and continues receiving big wads of cash from Uncle Sam.
It gets better; by the time it’s all said and done—in about four more years according to government estimates—American taxpayers will have been fleeced $6.6 billion! It’s all part of the Obama Administration’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system. The idea behind this plan is to switch medical records from paper to digital to create a centralized system that supposedly improves the quality of health care.
The overhaul won’t come cheap and the government is offering hospitals and doctors billions to switch to electronic medical records. The money has come largely from President Obama’s fraud-infested $787 billion stimulus which was supposed to jump start the economy and put Americans back to work. Instead the economy is a disaster as the nation suffers through a staggering $16 trillion (and growing) deficit and unemployment is at record highs.
This has not affected the cash flow to government programs, however. In this case the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is the agency that cuts the checks to healthcare providers that agree to switch to electronic records. So far CMS has doled out $3.6 billion to 74,317 medical providers, but the agency doesn’t bother following up to assure the money is appropriately spent. In fact, CMS fails to verify if providers are meeting the required quality goals, according to a federal audit released this week.
Investigators from the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General warn in their report that the electronic records program is vulnerable to abuse. Furthermore, they say immediate efforts should be made to strengthen oversight and prevent tax dollars from being wasted. This is not an unreasonable request considering doctors receive up to $44,000 and hospitals a minimum of $ 2 million to switch from paper to digital records.
Here is the scary response, included in the HHS watchdog report, from the head of the CMS (Marilyn Tavenner) on the idea of requiring healthcare providers to prove they’re meeting quality requirements before they get U.S. tax dollars. It would be burdensome, Tavenner said, and it would “significantly delay payments.” Spoken like at true government bureaucrat!
This isn’t the first time that the Obamacare-driven digital medical record overhaul has come under fire. Last month federal lawmakers questioned the costly experiment, asserting that it’s wasting billions of tax dollars and doing little to improve medical care. In a letter to Obama Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, four congressmen who chair various committees say the program “appears to be doing more harm than good.”
As proof their letter includes an excerpt from a mainstream newspaper article that exposes this enraging bit of info; the move to electronic health records may be contributing to billions of dollars in higher costs for Medicare, private insurers and patients by making it easier for hospitals and physicians to bill more for their services, whether or not they provide additional care.
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