After $1B spent — VA and DoD abandon joint EHR effort — shocking news!

I don’t know what is more outrageous:

  • the fact that both the VA and DoD have technologically out-of-date and insufficient HIT systems, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars ANNUALLY to support them
  • the fact that after nearly a decade of efforts — interoperability between the systems is still a ‘future promise’ instead of an everyday reality
  • that politicians (President, Congress) make grand promises, divert lots of attention and money and have absolutely zero accountability to achieve meaningful results

I sympathize with the hard working and well-intentioned folks within the DoD and VA that build and procure their HIT systems — the context and rules within which they operate are screwed up to say the least.     That said, I can’t get myself too excited about the ‘sky is falling’ chorus around the upcoming budget cuts from the ‘sequester’.   This is but one example (of hundreds) where current government spending (I’m sorry “investment”) is not increasing productivity, real GDP or infrastructure for the future.

I support this … from Dr. Ben Carson

“Not surprisingly, a practicing physician has un-PC thoughts on health care:

“Here’s my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed—pretax—from the time you’re born ’til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there’s nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let’s put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they’re going to learn how to be responsible.”

The Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon may not be politically correct, but he’s closer to correct than we’ve heard in years.”

as reported in WSJ from his speech at WH prayer breakfast. Love this guy!