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System failure

One of the problems with healthcare in the U.S. is that we have a series of fragmented facilities, practitioners, and payers instead of a system*. Each medical practice or clinic or hospital exists on its own and is responsible for billing and for keeping medical records. This is part of what drives up medical spending: it costs a lot to decipher and bill different health insurance plans; purchase or create or maintain electronic medical records; retrieve and compile clinic and lab and prescription data. We have a system that requires redundancy.

I’ve fallen into the same practice in my electronic gadgety life. I advocate for a streamlined system of healthcare, but insist on keeping what could be very helpful intuitive seamless electronics from working with each other. I haven’t updated my laptop operating system. My phone still runs iOS 6. I use a free run tracker app on my phone, then manually transcribe the info from it into Map My Run (the website) because I’ve been using it since before iPhone and Facebook.

I get frustrated with the public’s overall reluctance to embrace healthcare reform (or any social reform), but I won’t even update my phone because I am afraid I won’t like the new features. Perhaps it is fear of the unknown that is preventing us from moving forward on healthcare reform. What we know is that the system we have is not sustainable. Perhaps we can try the upgrade, and if needed make adjustments to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act through regulations. Just like I can back up my phone before attempting to update and I can restore or revert if I don’t like the new operating system.

*a group of related parts that move or work together (Merriam-Webster)

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