As the November election approaches, money isn't flowing only into the political campaigns. Last week, healthcare seemed to be swimming in money in motion, all of it having to do with investing in technology initiatives.
The Health 2.0 conference, which began yesterday, has doubled in size in the past two years, after growth had slowed for a few years. The halls of the San Francisco Hilton are thronged by a fast-talking crowd. Deals are being made in corridors and every third person you meet seems to be a doctor with a dream and some startup capital talking to an investor looking to get in the game.
The bad news for many healthcare systems is that a lot of this money doesn't presume the continuation of the current hospital-oriented care system as we know it. Calculating the new Medicare penalties for 30-day readmissions are even the subject of a startup's website (whose URL I won't give here because the first thing the site asks for is an email address). But some hospitals will be desperate enough to take the bait, just to see how bad the news is.
Meanwhile, it turns out that CMS miscalculated some of those penalties due to a computer "programming error." As if technology isn't already playing enough of a role in determining the fiscal fate of hospitals.