Senators: Rural Hospitals Hobbled by Digital Divide

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 17, 2013

"I get two sides of the story. I talk with the people in Topeka and they say everything is going as best as it possibly can. But I get a lot of calls from providers saying this is the proverbial wet horse blanket. My suggestion would be [to] take this show on the road. I would recommend Hayes, KS or Dodge City, KS. That is my hometown. I'm not sure I would recommend wearing a bow tie in Dodge City. But if you could go out and sort of take this digital show on the road that would be helpful. Or maybe have these folks come in because I know you are extremely busy."

That sentiment was shared by Committee Chairman Max Baucus, (D-MT), who urged Mostashari to "get out… of your offices and out to rural America. See it. Smell it and taste it, and know what it is. It is one thing to conceptualize it. It is something else to experience it."

"I mention you, Dr. Mostashari. I don't know why. I sense you are a Philadelphia guy, an eastern guy, a big city guy. There is a huge difference. Eighty percent of life is just showing up, just getting out there, being there, seeing it. Get out from behind your desk. It is well worth it. You're going to make fewer mistakes with respect to rural providers if you get out and see it."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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4 comments on "Senators: Rural Hospitals Hobbled by Digital Divide"

David Hold (7/19/2013 at 2:31 PM)
Senators are right on target I presume that the EMR vendors are very happy to listen to the good doctors comments. We are focusing on EMR which is important but not as important as preventive care. Most of these rural hospitals are barley breaking even or losing money to provide needed care and what we do add to their burden

KG (7/18/2013 at 11:15 AM)
I think there is increasing lack of civility and focus on issues/solutions in the senate hearings. What does Dr. Mostashari's bow tie have to do with a discussion on problems faced by rural providers? I would have much preferred the senators to focus on specifics and details of the problems faced by rural providers to back up their claims and discuss possible solutions.

Larry Rine (7/18/2013 at 10:23 AM)
I only have antidotal data, but from calling on these hospitals an EHR vendor for several years, there are very few rural hospitals in Kansas, Montana and other states that haven't made an EHR [INVALID]ion. It is important to note that the process from installation to attestation takes almost a year. Stage Two requirements are not that much more challenging than Stage One. The personal criticism of Dr. Mostashari, was classless.




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