One of Obama’s “five pillars” is health care reform. A pillar of health care reform could be said to be EMR software in every physician’s office – a surefire cost-saving measure.
On Tuesday, April 14 2009, President Barack Obama offered a message of hope at Georgetown University. He did warn of a period of future economic hardship for Americans, but also praised “signs of hope” in the national economy which were the result, in large measure, of his administration’s $787-billion economic stimulus legislation, which has already “spurred consumer demand” and partially restored the flow of credit so crucial to businesses. “By no means are we out of the woods just yet. But from where we stand, for the very first time, we are beginning to see glimmers of hope,” Obama said, “And beyond that, way off in the distance, we can see a vision of America’s future that is far different than our troubled economic past.” Obama’s vision won’t be established on the shifting sands of Clinton & Bush-era deregulatory fiscal policies, but instead be anchored on something firmer. He alluded to Jesus and the deity’s Sermon on the Mount, found in the Bible. “We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand. We must build our house upon a rock,” Obama said, and he wasn’t necessarily referring to the first Pope. The rock-buttressed foundation the President referred to will have “five pillars.” One of them is especially pertinent: Enacting his health care reforms to lower costs for families and businesses.
U.S. health care remains beset with problems. Spiraling costs have removed the safety net of health insurance from forty-eight million Americans, while millions more are left in a gray category of “under-insured,” a precarious predicament that leaves patients in sometimes equally dire straits. Those who are insured may receive care, but it’s often compromised. Inefficient and potentially lethal in itself, without the reassuring presence of state-of-the-art EMR software systems, antiquated systems of record-keeping and data collection hold sway – likely placing additional millions at risk while contributing mightily to cost increases that seem to never quit. President Obama’s health care reform package promises big changes for the better in its mandate: U.S. physicians must begin using EMR systems to process their patient data by 2014. In fact, January 1, 2011, is the day essential and long-overdue reform truly begins – as stimulus reimbursement for EMR package purchases kicks off on that super day. But the timing is urgent. It’s now, in 2009, that proactive physicians and hospitals will begin the “gold rush” toward cost savings and efficiency in ever increasing numbers, despite a persistent recession. There’s also the 80% usage rate to consider, and it’s prudent to remember that the mandate calls for this viable percentage to be a fixture and to be in effect – learning curve windows on EMR packages are conservatively 3-6 months. So yes, as another Easter passes there is hope for the U.S. health care industry – perhaps more than a mere glimmer.
David York is with Fox Meadows, a provider of electronic medical records software, EMR Software, and medical billing software. To learn more about electronic medical records, emr software, medical billing software visit Foxmeadows.com.