Monday, March 2, 2009

Billions and Billions and Billions......

$150 billion dollars for healthcare in the stimulus bill, $19 billion of which is for IT. Think everyone is trying to figure out how they get theirs? And I don't mean the hospitals and IDNs. I figure McKesson and Cerner are well on their way, including a host of other niche players (small and large) healthcare IT providers trying to figure out (as if they haven't already) what's in it for them.

With all the different systems and no common standards will this turn into a really more expensive version of the Betamax vs VHS video tape format wars from the mid 1980s with that ancient technology of VCR?

Now the budget contains another $600 billion plus for healthcare reform. All told, this totals in excess of $700 billion. Just the first down payment for fixing the system folks. I bet the AHA and AMA are busy figuring out how much they can get without having to change anything.

Like I said in previous blogs, its all about politics. Obama being a veteran of Chicago politics, knows that when he figured out how everybody gets theirs, reform happens. It has to happen. It is going to be expensive.

Now for all you CEOs out there who think they can hold on for a couple more years and things will go back to the way they were, hold on for the ride. If we can come up with a European style healthcare system- maybe. If we have the Great Britain Universal Healthcare System- here comes rationing and long waits.

To all those hospital marketing departments out there, here is a clue for future activity regardless of the system. Americans hate to wait in lines. So, your job is to figure out who can pay privately to not wait in queues for service. That's the nugget.

Why? Think about what happens when you suddenly increase demand and all those hospital beds that have been taken out of service. Combine that with a primary care physician shortage and lack of RNs, you get the idea.

Anything else and you have to hire me as a consultant.


No comments: