Monday, March 13, 2006

Ides of March Updates

Winter gave it's final blast to the Inland Empire...the rain and snow even made it over "the,hill" into the Coachella Valley. And that is just what we need, a leap over the giant granite hill to integrate health data networks. Many underinsured and uninsured travel from the east county to RCRMC in Moreno Valley, without their health records.

I have been contacted by numerous parties of disparate interest groups wanting to assist in the development of a RHIO. They range from independent insurance agents who market payor products to employers, area health executive organizations, and a virtual army of "consultants" vendors, and the like.

I meet up regularly with consulting firms that will "put together a business plan for "" 75,000 to 200,000 dollars "". That fair sum would buy a very nice server and portal software that would run on the internet. I am not going down that route.

In our region there are a number of "brilliant" CEOs,CFOs of hospitals and provider groups that could be tapped to distribute this task and develop the business plan.
I have been told it would take 1000 hours to develop a sustainable business plan for our RHIO. I don't buy that for a minute. How many accounting firms, and legal firms are supported by hospitals, and providers? What part should they play in the mix.
This entity will serve our region, it's providers, hospitals, consumers and employers.

Why is it that we providers don't put the pressure on the payors next time they want us to renew a "contract" with them? Why not ask them or even better tell them that we cannot afford to participate in their contract without some fair measure of THEIR PARTICIPATION FINANCIALLY in the health data exchange. They have already decreased our reimbursements to the point where few providers can afford to do it. In the past ten years they have reaped the financial reward at the provider, consumer and hospital expense.

Most of the RHIO coordinators I have spoken with in California tell it plainly...not much interest from the payors. (why should they be interested, without some market pressure?)

Richard Hawkins contacted me regarding participation in helping to develop our RHIO.
Mr. Hawkins is a well known independent insurance broker. He also leads a group of insurance agents. Perhaps a ground swell amongst businesses and consumers is beginning to rear it's head, as well.

I can only encourage all of you who read my blog to continue your enthusiasm, and disseminate the word about Inland Empire RHIO. We seem to be making some measure of progress.

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