Mandating health initiatives

03 Sep

As the federal government is encouraging EHR adoption through incentives (and later penalties), a few states are developing their own programs to apply extra pressure on physicians.

In Maryland, there isn’t an EHR mandate, but the state is turning the screws on doctors who don’t have clinical information systems.

Hospitals, similarly, could lose their state operating certificates.

Meanwhile, Minnesota requires all providers, including physicians, hospitals, and post-acute facilities, to have EHRs by 2015, but there are no specific penalties in the law for noncompliance.

But if you live in Massachusetts, the penalty could be much greater: A state EHR mandate requires physicians to show they know how to use an EHR by 2015 or face the loss of their license to practice in Massachusetts.

Helmet use on motorcycles fits squarely within the purview of the federal government public health and economic considerations. Regardless, if this increase in deaths is due to the increasing numbers of motorcyclists or if it represents an increased fatality rate, the number of deaths itself is large and therefore important.

Motorcycles account for less than 3 % of all registered vehicles nationwide, yet they constitute 14 % of all traffic-related fatalities []. Additional medical charges include hospital readmissions, professional fees, ambulatory care services, rehabilitation, and long-term nursing home care.

The decision to ride a motorcycle without a helmet has consequences that affect more than just the motorcyclist.

In an effort to prevent unnecessary healthcare costs, injuries, and deaths, public health efforts to increase helmet use through education and legislation should be strongly considered.