Letter: Health care spending increases may not lead to health IT increases

Regarding "Forum: IT raises health care quality and costs": The conclusion and headline of this article are misleading and not based on supporting matter in the article.

The supporting material, "Historically, however, the nature of technological advances in medicine and the changes in clinical practice that followed them have tended to raise spending." This is talking about advances in medical technology and not information technology. 

Advances in medical technology definitely have made many more tests, procedures and treatments available to especially chronic diseases (which have been demanded by consumers and sometimes paid by insurers).  This has led to overall increase in spending on health care. 

However, extending this conclusion to application of Information technology and predicting increase in costs is inaccurate.  IT helps remove the inefficiencies in business processes.  This has been proven again and again in every major industry.

Articles (and conclusions) like these really keep the health industry in the dark ages in terms of IT and process improvements.

Sunil Lingayat, Ph.D.
Northrop Grumman IT


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