“Giving away $50 million isn’t as easy as it looks”

I hosted a dinner event for about 60 people last night at Harvard Business School. The keynote speaker was Micky Tripathi, CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative. Micky’s job is to create 3 community ehealth pilots over the next 2-3 years. The communities have been selected and the rollout is underway. Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA has committed $50M to the effort.

Micky made a few interesting points:

  • “Giving away $50M isn’t as easy as it looks.” Before docs will accept the free EMRs, there are technical concerns to address (e.g., will this disrupt my office?), privacy and security issues (e.g., what to do if there is a breach of the network), and liability questions (e.g., am I liable if data I enter into the system is used improperly or ignored by another MD?)
  • The goal is to move from efficacy to effectiveness. To go beyond a demonstration that a system works to actually having an impact in the messy real world
  • Even more important than the $50M is the commitment by all stakeholders (payers, providers, government, liability carriers, patient groups, etc.) to participate. This differs from other initiatives –such as Micky’s previous situation in Indianapolis– where one or more key constituencies is not at the table

Micky’s got a tough job, but looks increasingly likely to be able to pull it off.

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Welcome Grand Rounds visitors! While you are here, consider touring the rest of the Health business blog.

May 25, 2005

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