Government Pays Doctors $44,000 to Use an iPad

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Graph Illustrating Average US Doctor's Salary vs Median Citizen IncomeMore upward wealth redistribution from the good folks at the Obama administration!

Now starving doctors will finally be able to afford an iPad thanks to your generous tax contribution! With the increased efficiency of electronic record keeping they’ll probably even be able to fire some of their fat cat administrative staff!  (It’s ironic that taxes were being taken out of the paychecks of these ~$25 per hour employees in order to provide subsidies for doctors who are 0.2% highest income earners in the world. This is compounded by the fact that the changeover will enable the doctors to save even more money by laying off administrative staff after the new technology renders them redundant.)

The Obama administration strongly desires that all medical records be electronic. There’s an app called Drchrono for the iPad which can make that transition happen. Logically, the government will give up to $44,000 to any doctor willing to use it.

The funding will come through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) in which the government allocated $19.2 billion dollars to help move U.S. doctors to electronic medical record systems.  President Obama signed HITECH into law on February 17, 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), an economic stimulus bill.

Thank goodness we were able to raise the debt ceiling! Now the government can afford to help these destitute medical professionals climb from the impoverished depths of the 0.2% highest income earners in the world to the 0.1% highest earners.

I don’t mean to imply that I oppose the adoption of electronic health records. I wholeheartedly support this goal. However, it’s important that middle class taxpayers know that they are subsidizing the top 0.2% richest Americans.

 

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  • Sebpa

    Spare me – everything you said here is completely misleading – and not by a little bit. FIrst, the amount available to docs is more. Second, it’s not to use an iPad, it’s the total credit available for all investment in electronic health records – that’s a national goal that’s been in place for over 15 years – it’s designed to improve patient care and efficiency across the board for all healthcare providers. Qualified institutions and providers can take the credit only against their actual expenses – no different than any other tax credit. The credit only goes against actual investment – so your claim is lame. I give you 4 pinocchios.

    • Thanks! Specifically, which sentences should I change? How should I change them?

      • stoffejs

        Remove the ones that are false and misleading. Basically, just delete the whole thing.

        • “FIrst, the amount available to docs is more.”

          How much more? What are your sources? I’ve hyperlinked all mine.

          “Second, it’s not to use an iPad, it’s the total credit available for all investment in electronic health records – that’s a national goal that’s been in place for over 15 years – it’s designed to improve patient care and efficiency across the board for all healthcare providers.”

          All you have to do is use that ipad app to qualify. I’ve linked to the source on that. Please link to a source that indicates otherwise.

          “Qualified institutions and providers can take the credit only against their actual expenses – no different than any other tax credit.”

          OK. Where do I claim otherwise? A tax credit looks the same as a subsidy in the recipients bank account and in the treasury.

          “The credit only goes against actual investment – so your claim is lame.”

          What does this mean? Where is your source?

  • Paul

    In one sense, the graphic is misleading. The incentive is not $44K per year, it is a maximum total of $44K over the course of 5 years.

    What you also don’t mention is that this is available for a limited time, and providers who do not adopt this technology in the early stage will see a reduction in their Medicare payments in the coming years.

    https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/Downloads/CMS_eHR_Tip_Sheet.pdf

    • You’re right! Thanks for the link. I’ll try to figure out a way to better convey the info.

  • waterone

    Agree with Sebpa; the truth kinda got butchered in the above article. Many physicians are not able to convert to electronic systems very quickly due to the enormous infrastructure and training costs for the individual practice.

    “More than 185,000 physicians have registered for the program, but hundreds of thousands had yet to apply for the incentives as of March (2012). Nearly 62,000 physicians who registered have earned incentives from either Medicare or Medicaid.”

    After 2015, there is actually a penalty for not having the electronic infrastructure and an ‘approved’ EMR in place.

    • Thanks! Specifically, which sentences should I change and how should I change them?

  • Curtis

    How about all of them and start over with a slant on the truth? Drop finger pointing at President Obama and make it an effort of the Govt. to stream line billing so the Govt. can catch fraudulent billing.

    • I’m sorry. Which sentences specifically contain factual inaccuracies? I would be very grateful if you’d point them out so I can correct them.

  • Curtis

    “fat cat administrative staff” You need to define what “fat cat” means. More than minimum wage? Is $25.00 an hour in the “fat cat ” range? Since the program started well before the Obama administration you should drop that part and address it as the old Bush administration or leave it as “your government”. Tying the rise of the debt ceiling to just this one arguably good way to track medicare and medicaid costs is disingenuous at best.

    • I was just being sarcastic about the “fat cat administrative staff” thing in an unsuccessful attempt at humor. My point was involved the irony of taxes were being taken out of the paychecks of these $25 per hour employees in order to provide subsidies for the doctors that make a lot more than them. This is compounded by the fact that the changeover will enable the doctors to save even more money by laying off administrative staff after the new technology renders them redundant.

      The funding will come through the HITECH Act in which the government allocated $19.2 billion dollars to help move U.S. doctors to electronic medical record systems. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) legislation was created to stimulate the adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and supporting technology in the United States. President Obama signed HITECH into law on February 17, 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), an economic stimulus bill.

      http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/HITECH-Act

      I didn’t mean to imply that I oppose the adoption of electronic health records. I wholeheartedly support this goal. However, I just think that it’s important that people know when the taxes of middle class people are being used to subsidize the wealth of the top 1% richest Americans.

      But thanks for your insightful comments! They help me realize the miscommunication on my part.

  • bob elia

    I sincerely hope so. The scientific and mathematical approach is unique aqnd refreshing in these days of Conservative fantasy and sky mumblings.

  • $44K over 5 years to adopt expensive electronic billing that will (we hope) prevent and catch FRAUD seems reasonable. If it makes doctors and their offices more efficient then we might get better healthcare outcomes. That (again we hope) means fewer ER visits for health problems that should have been “fixed” and not gotten to crisis ER point.

    • You’re right. Do you know if anyone’s done that cost benefit analysis?

  • Kevin

    I would be intrigued to see the numbers saved over time of this switch to electronic record keeping. Will there be better healthcare. Whats the number of patients a doctor can see in a day using and Ipad compared to having to view a paper file. What is the time saving factor of electronically sending my perscription instead of my doctor having to stop, go back to his desk and write out my perscription. There eventually will be a trickle down savings to the patients.

    • But why wouldn’t they just do this on their own if it saves money? Why do middle class people have to get money taken out of their paychecks to pay for this? Wouldn’t the savings for patients be cancelled out by their increased tax rates?

  • Lovely

    My college professor explained this scenario back in 2002, he said they “your so-called government” wants to keep track of you, and have each citizen health records in their central database. And when they decide you are not profitable for their benefit anymore (because you do know you work for “your” government) then they will decide to euthanize you. Look it up. What if they force u to sign the euthanasia papers by force….u know how many “Americans” this could affect. U have to always think deep at the broader picture.

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