After perusing the June issue of the Healthcare Financial Management Association magazine, I came away with the sense that progress in improving how health care is paid for is going slowly. A transcript of a roundtable on shifting payment systems to electronic systems indicated that hospitals are having a hard time getting insurance companies to set up electronic systems and also are having a hard time getting payers to agree on a consistent set of transactions that would ease a shift to electronic payment. This is in spite of the fact that the HFMA estimates that $35 billion could be saved by shifting to electronic payment.
Also in this same issue I learned that doctors regularly fail to write down basic things on medical records such as reasons for a particular therapy, thereby delaying payment for treatments. That is a sad fact.