The “Physical” Cliff, Writing Checks My Ass Can’t Cash

fiscal-cliff

The “Physical Cliff”

I kid around about reaching the “physical cliff”, where my body reaches the point whereby I can no longer sustain my anatomy.   If I don’t start getting back on the bike it could be I’m heading for a period of hyper-inflation (around my middle) and resulting in my declaring my own “ass warfare.”

Getting serious about the next time I get a “physical” what is it going to cost me and other taxpayers?  While everyone is paying close attention to the “Fiscal Cliff” what is happening to taxpayers right now and has been happening to us since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed?

What we had shoved down our throats, we’re now going to being paying for with taxpayer money.  Money our proverbial asses can’t cash.

Talk about subsidizing “Big Oil”, what about “Big Medicine?”  Now my Doctor’s fingers spend more time on the keyboard than they do with an exam.  My prostrate is getting jealous!

CMS – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in case you haven’t heard, has bragging rights to all of 8 Billion and more, so far, and rising rapidly, they are giving to hospitals and professional service providers for EHR – Electronic Health Records expenditures.

Supposedly the Obama Administration’s theory is that Hospitals and Professional Service Providers are too stupid to invest in technology, so they decided to give them a push.  Right over the Fiscal Cliff with the rest of us.  Well apparently Big Medicine isn’t as stupid as they think, because CMS is writing big checks and proud of it!

You can’t make this stuff up (Source :CMS).

  • More than $4.4 billion in Medicare EHR Incentive Program payments have been made between May 2011 and October 31, 2012.
  • More than $3.7 billion in Medicaid EHR Incentive Program payments have been made between January 2011 (when the first set of states launched their programs) and October 31, 2012.
  • More than 326,000 eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals are actively registered in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

Here’s your road map: (Source: HealthIT.gov)

Map of payments to providers by state.

Let’s not for get the EHR Vendors.  The government again’s picking winners and losers.

Unfortunately, the legislation was funded in a way that benefits large companies instead of promoting competition to improve software quality and lower overall cost.

Once the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) were signed into law, the “gold rush” was on (as described by one of our competitors²), or as The Onion News reported it: Recession Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble to Invest In.

Whether or not you are in favor of giving taxpayer money to executives to fly around the country in private jets, the stimulus money is starting to flow – and many providers are eligible (and a lot more deserving).

Source: AmazingCharts

²“I literally rent [an] airplane every Tuesday morning, and I hit five cities by Thursday night, every week. I’m cold calling . . . that’s my life now. It’s like any government fiscal stimulus thing — it’s a gold rush.’’

Jonathan Bush, CEO, Athenahealth Inc. (from Boston Globe 8/5/2010)

Maybe we need the Mainstream Media (MSM) to pick up on this story.  They could report on on all the hospitals and doctors that needed to upgrade their IT infrastructure or close their doors.  Heaven forbid, we would have to outsource our patient care to foreign soil.

About Idea Capitalist
Family guy and entrepreneur. Small Business owner. NFIB Leadership Council member. Serial blogger.

2 Responses to The “Physical” Cliff, Writing Checks My Ass Can’t Cash

  1. EHR Vendors says:

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  2. Pingback: Costs are soaring for community banks struggling to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act and new regulations. | Idea Capitalists

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