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James Nennemann on Harkin Healthcare Reform Town Hall Today [Update]

RE: what to ask about new bill?


I subscribe to your LinuxMedNews feed and appreciate you being a hub of info for OSS Medical Software. I am concerned about the development of a cartel system with certification and even more concerned that so many people are missing the boat when it comes to healthcare reform. Review the expenses of any small rural hospital (like the one I work at) and you will find all sorts of archaic uses of technology by government agencies. For instance, paying a company to act as a secure bridge between medicare and the hospital's billing department just to transmit billing info. Haven't these people ever heard of SSL? WebDAV? SSH?... and on? There are still some services we use that use a dial-up connection to transmit info!

Today at 4 p.m. central, Senator Tom Harkin (ed. toward bottom) will be holding a Town Hall meeting about health care reform at my facility. What are some talking points and questions to put to him? Are there some issues with the current bill that are in favor of or are against the OSS movement? How can we get more people to recognize that we don't need 100+ EMR software companies trying to re-invent the wheel?

Best regards,

-James Nennemann
Hamburg, IA
[email protected]

BWT - I hope to record the meeting in HD and post it publicly. I will send you a link if the recording comes out.

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My response:


I think the most prudent thing for me to do is pass this inquiry on to lists of contacts who are active in reform in their various spheres of influence. I'll also post to my LinkedIn Medical Banking and Open Health Care groups, blog it at MBlog, etc. Thanks for the heads up.

I'd suggest using #HarkinHealthcare and #HealthcareReform as hashtags on twitter and identi.ca for any folks who tweet and/or post (does laconi.ca have a"cool post verb" yet?).

Best regards,

Ed Dodds

Evangelist, Strategist, Web Developer, Writer
collaboration communication convergence

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Dr. Larry Ozeran response:

Hi James.

I received your email too late to send anything before your meeting, but thought I would send you some comments from one California community's perspective in case you have another opportunity. I am personally a trauma / general surgeon involved in Health IT for 20+ years and healthcare reform for 10+years (http://www.DrOzeran.com/policy.php). Our YSHC consortium includes both health providers (all types) and economic / education / workforce organizations. This is our message:

Washington is again considering temporary healthcare reform, and at great cost. Negotiating to the center of the proverbial table which is tilted heavily in favor of health insurers to the detriment of patients, providers and employers, has not worked in the past to lower cost, improve care, or insure more Americans. "Cost containment" for its own sake, whether Medicare's SGR, "managed" care, capitation, or "Pay for Performance", has not worked to contain costs. By ignoring our fundamental health system problems, past "reform" efforts have caused the American healthcare system to be the most expensive system in the world even as it leaves 15% of our population without good care.

To get true health system reform we must:

1) Get everyone in our nation's capitol to agree with Albert Einstein on two key points:
* "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
* "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

2) Define the healthcare system that we want by identifying the principles necessary to make it effective and sustainable one actionable example: http://www.YubaSutterHealthcareCouncil.org

Please forward this message in the hopes that more Americans will seek to promote fundamental change to Congress and the White House.



Dr. Larry Ozeran
Chair, Yuba-Sutter Healthcare Council

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James' follow on comments:

I just want to make it clear; there was no Tom Harkin present, just a staff member from a state office. The information I received was unclear on this point.

The talk was generally pointed at the finance side of things and the conversation never veered from 'how do we pay for changes'.

Thanks, fellows, for your input but as they say 'nothing to see here folks, please move along'

Best regards,

James N.

June 23, 2009 in Cooperative Open-source Medical Banking Architecture and Technology | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack