Thursday, April 14, 2011

The battle over the medical chart!

There is a battle going on in medicine these days and as patients it is very important that you know what is happening. I don’t know if you saw the Seinfeld episode where Elaine wants to see what is on her doctor’s chart. It is actually very entertaining to watch the comedy surrounding what Elaine sees as her doctor’s ability to write anything he wants seemingly without her control. Fortunately, patients have access to their charts and have control. But the battle I am talking about has to do with hospital charts. Each day doctors, nurse and anyone involved with an in patient’s care writes notes as a way to communicate information to other healthcare providers –information that is crucial for your healthcare. But, long after discharge the government and other payers for care look at the notes and determine what they will pay for your hospitalization. The battle is that the notes are potentially being used to generate payments. We need to return to a time when the charts were used to help people get better ..not justify fees.

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