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Opinion: Why Google Health really failed: It's about the money

The Washington Post, June 27, 2011

As reported on TechCrunch, Google shut down its medical records and health data platform. Since then, there's been a lot of bits spilled offering explanations, but they all missed the most critical item. Money. Or in the language of healthcare: Reimbursement. As much as we'd like to think it isn't the case, the fundamental driver of most (not all) behavior in healthcare is the reimbursement scheme. It's critical to understand the current reimbursement model to understand why Google Health failed to transform the landscape. Today's flawed reimbursement scheme only compensates the healthcare provider for a face to face visit. It's hard to fault the primary care physician who has been put on a hamster wheel of 30-40 appointments per day and can't even give their practice away upon retirement (that was once their retirement plan) for not wanting to deal with their patients sending email or sharing information from their personal health record.