a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Smiling for the camera at the doctor's office

nurse., originally uploaded by allison marisa.

The nurse came at me today with a digital camera before pulling out the blood-pressure armband during my mandatory annual physical examination.

She seemed overly apologetic as if I was one of "those" people who might be armed with an anti-government rant about this portrait buying into a federal government treading too heavily on healthcare.

It's going to be mandatory, she explained, under this new Obamacare reform we have all been hearing about this year.

My physician has been ahead of the curve, as he began to digitize his patient records years before it became law, she added.

It's true. This physician spent his own money to take his medical practice into the new century so he can talk to patients from his laptop and eliminate duplication and possible errors. It's a BIG reason why I have been paying him to treat me in an era when too many physicians have been acting like medicine's equivalent to theater directors overseeing cattle calls.

Think about this. We've been paying Pennsylvania for years to plaster our faces on drivers' license so that traffic cops can identify us for any number of motoring situations. Why wouldn't we want to make damned sure the physician who might be coming at someone with a scalpel is dead certain that the face on the table matches his or her medical insurance card?

Later today, while talking with a friend about this new practice, she tells me about someone she knows having been illegally charged for a knee surgery on the wrong credit card. Ideally, the skyrocketing cost of healthcare could curbed by reducing fraud while also improving technology, she says.

So put my photo on my medical card ASAP. It should have been there all along.


Douglas Roesch said...

From a technology standpoint, this is a solved problem. We've known how to do all this for 20 years. The big fight is over who get the contract and the federal $$ to do it.

Scott Beveridge said...

My physician claims to have sacrificed a family summer vacation to come up with the money to digitize his records.