Sunday, January 22, 2006

Rumors, Inuendos and other Facts

Sorry I missed my Friday deadline, for those of you who feverishly watch this RHIO blog waiting for the latest fountain of RHIO information. I do at times identify with that historical figure of Ponce de Leon who searched for the "eternal spring", "The Fountain of Youth".
Certainly there is something like that in Health IT, a "perfect solution". After wandering through a variety of "springs", "wells" and cascades of IT information I discovered that there is none, however there are some very good solutions being proposed. Remember my now famous quote from John Garamendi, our illustrious Commissioner of Insurance in California. "Perfect IS the enemy of the Good."

Rumor has it that the "Santa Barbara Initiative" has dried up, that however is hearsay found
on a recent Google Search that has been denied to Homeland Security. (why are they wasting my money doing the ultimate google search and not giving me the money for our RHIO? Can the U.S. Government really afford to buy a hard drive that big at the same time as completely screwing up the Medicare Drug RX plan and transition. Do you really expect ONCHIT to come up with a working solution when HHS can't run what it already has going?

I obviously have too much time on my hands this long four day weekend. We are waiting to see if the hospitals in our region are going to show up at the medical society venue to become stakeholders in what we know is a vital link in increasing patient safety and making medical practice and busines work better for physicians. I am not optimistic....they remain too immersed in trying to keep their books in the black and watching over their shoulder at their "competititors, without giving a real "damn" about their patients, at the same time investing in newspaper ads from HMOs, Hospitals and Plans about how much they "care" and how advanced their "technology" is compared to those "others".

Among the good things are several great ideas coming out of the San Diego MINE and Steve Carson, M.D. He is working from an undisclosed location and I cannot quote the source without placing him in mortal danger. He can be reached at

I have returned to my basic roots in Ophthalmology and am enjoying patient care despite the mindless, endless paper work applying for this and that, opening my checkbook at a thousand dollars a clip to endless societies, hospitals and explaining what I was doing during the past four years not seeing patients ......maybe they think I was in prison. Funny now I feel like I am
in a prison of sorts. Anyone else get that feeling? I am ready to get back on the bicycle, no one really forgets that balancing act, a piece of cake compared to medical practice in the U.S. today.

Gary Levin M.D.


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