Clinton & Topol Preach the Importance of Evolution in Healthcare

Dan Bowman | FierceHealthIT | March 8, 2013

For all of their differences, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and cardiologist Eric Topol--the West Endowed Chair of Innovative Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.--delivered a similar message in their respective keynote addresses this week at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference in New Orleans.

The status quo won't cut it in healthcare anymore. Clinton, who spoke on Wednesday, talked about the great potential for IT to fix healthcare, not only on a clinical level, but at a foundational level, as well.

"Eventually, almost every major system gets long in the tooth," he said. "We have all these horse-and-buggy systems and people hanging onto a lack of transparency … but there's nothing we can't fix. The whole promise of IT is that we can manage data in ways that we never could before … so that we don't have unexamined lives of unexamined healthcare systems."...


Transparency & 'Open' Chargemaster Systems

According to HospitalBill.Org, aside from Maryland and California, no state, federal or local law limits what hospitals can charge their patients. Hospitals are free to set their own prices, and each hospital does so in a complex document called the 'chargemaster'. It is well established that chargemaster prices are inflated, vary widely from hospital to hospital, and often have no relation to the actual cost of providing care.

We ought to have transparency and open access to hospital chargemaster systems. We ought to move toward standardized state and/or federal chargemaster systems as soon as possible. For more on this, see