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Intelligent Healthcare Information Integration 6/12/09

June 12, 2009 News No Comments

Ficos and Inscos and Autocos and EHRcos

I don’t drive an American-made car. Sorry. Kind of wish I did as I’m a big fan of supporting the local economy, whether it’s that of my little community or that of my country. But, with the recent Detroit disasters, I’m not exactly feeling like the town idiot for my automotive purchasing decisions.

GM, Chrysler, and pretty much the whole gamut of American automobile companies are reaping their sown seeds of self-interest, self-righteousness, and strong-handedness. From the arrogance and disrespect shown as they invented and promulgated “planned obsolescence” to the shortsightedness of designing for short-term profit versus sustained planetary and population well-being, the U.S. car manufacturers (the autocos) are just now getting a taste of the comeuppance which they have for so long unwittingly (and perhaps dimwittingly) sought.

Too large, too little insight at the top, too light on listening to the real needs of the world around them has left many of these automakers reeling from real reality. (Didn’t you just love their scolding for flying in on private jets to ask for handouts?)

Looking at the US healthcare mess, a certain parallelism appears to be brewing. Healthcare insurance companies, inscos, have also grown too large. They are dictatorial in their manipulation of healthcare monies, Their lobbyists have long been far too powerful an influence upon our nation’s elected leaders. Their roles as guardians and watchdogs of healthcare monies have devolved into self-perpetuating protectionism. Their top-heavy, middleman, leech-like drain upon true healthcare priorities is becoming increasingly, obviously, unsustainable.

We’ve seen what this did for finance (ficos). How long before the healthcare inscos’ bailout funds become the Twitter topic du jour?

Well, if my eyes don’t deceive me, there appears to be another TBFTB (too-big-for-their-britches) phenomenon a-brewing. When it comes to healthcare dollars these days, probably only second to the inscos in financial watercooler conversations are EHR vendors, the EHRcos. (Indeed, they may be the top conversation piece as the inscos seem to be trying to keep their collective heads down.)

In the midst of the early stages of the predicted EHR industry consolidations, acquisitions, and small player demises, the ARRA/HITECH funds have promised to fertilize the growth of yet more egoistic behemoths. And, some of these large EHR vendors are starting to show signs of forgetting that, in the end, it’s the little people for whom they work, it’s the individual customer whose support and favor they ought to continually seek and curry.

Lest the bigger EHR players forget, behemoths are not indispensable. Remember such relative giants as TWA, Pan Am, Circuit City, Enron, Egghead Software, Coleco, Pullman Palace Car Company, RCA, and the Coca Cola Corporation? (I’ll let you look up that last one).

Just as the inscos started out to help consumers obtain affordable healthcare and keep care costs controlled, EHRcos started as grand ideas to help healthcare providers provide better care. If they are not careful, they will also follow the unfortunate footsteps of the TBFTB inscos and turn away from their genetic principles.

I really don’t want my grandkids having to also pay for the bailout of the NexEpiMisyCentricMcKeGEclipeCliniCernitech Conglomerate while still paying off Ficos, Autocos, Inscos, et al.

Dr. Gregg Alexander is a grunt-in-the-trenches pediatrician and geek. His personal manifesto home page…er..blog…yeh, that’s it, his blog – and he – can be reached through http://madisonpediatric.com or doc@madisonpediatric.com.

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