For those who haven't seen it, Health Care for All's blog has comments from Dr. Joe Heyman on MassHealth (the Massachusetts Medicaid program). Joe is a great reporter of life through the eyes of a small-practice physician, and his comments offer an insightful commentary not just on MassHealth but also on the ten jillion ways that our healthcare system is broken. They also point out that EHRs and HIEs and all of the rest of the RHIO program are not, and cannot be, a panacea for the deeper problems underlying our system.
As MAeHC rolls out EHRs to physician practices (more than 200 physicians live so far!), we are finding that EHRs and first-generation HIEs can address only some of the pain points that are part of an ambulatory physician's everyday existence. There's no doubt in my mind that wider use of modern IT systems will do a lot to improve health care delivery, but perhaps the greater benefit will be in revealing the huge obstacles that technology alone can't solve.