Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This Is A Piece Of News That Should Not Be Taken Lightly. This Can Stop The NEHRS Dead In Its Tracks.

The following report appeared a few days ago.

Litigation warning on eve of e-Health

FOUR weeks before the introduction of a $1 billion e-Health scheme, key medical indemnity insurers are warning GPs not to participate as they could be exposed to a new wave of litigation.
There is concern doctors could be sued if patients are harmed because records are not kept up to date or clinical information is omitted. They are also worried by the ability of patients to restrict access to parts of the record.
Insurers are advising doctors not to use the e-Health records until the issues are settled.
President of Medical Defence Australia Julian Rait said his organisation had serious concerns about the legal liabilities doctors would face if they used the Personally Controlled e-Health Record (PCEHR) and would "advise members not to participate until these problems are properly addressed".
David Nathan, Avant Mutual Group Limited chief executive, said his organisation was concerned that key elements of the initiative, including the potential risks assumed by healthcare professionals in accessing the PCEHR, were yet to be finalised, and "they may determine our advice to members as to the risks of signing up to the initiative".
Lots more here:
And if you really want to scare people away this will do it.

Premiums may skyrocket due to e-health

5th Jun 2012
AS THE government continues to bargain with GP groups over the conditions practices must agree to when using the national e-health record system, experts have warned the legal liabilities attached to the records could push premiums up.
The first draft of the agreement caused outrage across the profession by requiring practices to assume all legal liability for the system and grant health department officials unrestricted access to their premises and records.
Department officials were due to meet RACGP representatives today to discuss the latest draft of the agreement, which sources said was the fourth so far, but MO understands the major GP organisations are still unhappy with many of the conditions.
MDA National president Associate Professor Julian Rait said the contentious “search and seizure” powers had been removed from the latest draft but GPs should still treat the system with “extreme caution”.
Lots more here:
What needs to be appreciated here is the power of the Medical Indemnity Insurers. If they say to their members we would advise you to leave the NEHRS / PCEHR alone until we are sure there are essentially zero risks as far as your contributing to and using the NEHRS you can be sure they will be taken very seriously indeed.
To practice all doctors need this sort of insurance - essentially to cover their defence costs where they are wrongly accused and to compensate those patients who have been wronged - and costs can range from a few thousand a year to tens of thousands depending on your risk profile.
The Indemnity insurers are ‘not for profit’ and so if they see an additional risk / possible liability their actuaries will cost it in and adjust premiums accordingly - as well as warn about getting involved - or maybe charge a higher premium if you say you plan to use the NEHRS system. There is lots of precedent for extra premiums depending on the nature and scope of practice.
At present there seem to be two areas of concern. The first is around the conditions the Department wants to put in their agreement with doctors to contribute to / be the custodian of the Shared Record. Right now the AMA and RACGP are not at all happy and a third draft is apparently being prepared - the first two having been rejected.
The second area is around accountability for the use of a NEHRS record and possible liability that may flow from wrong treatment or care based on information found in a NEHRS record. Clearly there have to be clear rules and clear ‘good faith’ use exemptions or the risk of use just will not be worth it.
I guess the Government will be grateful, with the delayed start - to have some more time to sort all this out. If they don’t you can be sure clinical use of the system will approximate zero.