Obama's Electronic Medical Records Requirements Already Causing Job Loss

-By Warner Todd Huston

While the Old Media has been ecstatic over recent job numbers, claiming that some 200,000 jobs have been added to the economy, we should note that while Obama giveth Obama also taketh away. The media may be trying to claim the President has "created or saved" jobs (the latest weasel word is he's created job opportunity) but his policies have also cost jobs. In particular his policies are costing jobs in the medical field.

Last week, layoffs were announced in Mississippi at the University of Mississippi Medical Center due in part to the 80 million dollars that it will cost to implement a new computer system named EPIC Systems, Obama's newly mandated electronic medical records system.

Naturally, the system Obama is forcing on an entire nation of medical professionals and hospitals is the same system owned and operated by Judith Faulkner, one of his own big donors. Faulkner is also a big donor to the Democrat Party. Not surprisingly, besides affording her the lucrative, crony capitalist business deal, Obama also put Faulkner in a key role on the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, the committee responsible for implementing the President's e-records policy. She has become known as Obama's medical records czar.

As hospitals and doctors are forced to launch their own EPIC Systems portals, the costs are forcing hard choices for administrators. All to implement what many call a flawed system.

Representative Tom Price (R, GA), a medical doctor, scoffs at Obama's EPIC Systems e-record program. Price is not amused by the government-speak bestowed on this e-records systems, those "meaningful use" standards that he calls "anything but useful or meaningful."

Rep. Price revealed to an audience at a recent Heritage Foundation event that Obama's new electronic medical records system is filled with "nonsense."

One of the things about the system Price told the audience was that the system requires a pathologist to fill in a field of information on what a patient is allergic to in every case the docs deal with. If they do not fill in this field the system will "ding" the doctor on his reimbursement funds. That may not seem so absurd, but Price also noted that the pathologist has to fill out these same fields even if he is just consulting on a case by looking at a slide in a microscope and won't actually see the patient in person.

It gets worse. Price went on to recount that this system is so dysfunctional that it requires the same fields to be filled out for a corpse at an autopsy.

"This is no lie," Price says. "The federal government wants the pathologist to determine whether or not a corpse has any allergies. …This is nonsense."

Price told the Heritage audience that a bureaucrat simply cannot tell a doctor what to do. He felt that there wasn't anything wrong with government mandating a main "highway" for electronic medical records to "ride" on but felt that bureaucrats in Washington simply haven't the knowledge to make a single system that is all things to all doctors for all patients.

"[Washington should] not dictate what the docs are doing on a day-to-day basis for a given patient because it doesn't make any sense, it's a waste of time." Price insisted. "They can never, ever put in place the right standards …for a bureaucrat to determine whether or not the doctor is doing the right thing."

(About 20 minutes into the following video)

The fact is, while this month's jobs record might seem good, Obama is still destroying jobs in other areas due to his constant stream of regulations. And maybe these numbers aren't so good at that. This rosy 8.5 percent unemployment figure that the White House is touting is "terribly misleading," according to James Pethokoukis. The AEI columnist notes that if the White House was still using the size of the U.S. labor force from 2009, the unemployment rate would be at 10.9 percent today.

Lastly, we should note that the full implementation of Obamacare is still several years off. When that bell tolls, job loss with be monumental. But even though we have yet to get to full implementation of Obamacare, it is still costing jobs even today.

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  • The Fransiscan Alliance at St Margarets announced proposed layoffs of it's unit clerks/some medical records clerks by Sep,30,2012. Other sister hospitals have done the same only 90 to 120 days after implementation of the EPIC system. Future hospitals to "go Live" will not inform employees of the fact that some jobs cannot be retrained and will be lost. Also informed they may lose insurance benefits if current proposed mandated birth control is included in the Obamacare package.

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