Representatives of the New Brunswick Medical Society have recently expressed profound satisfaction at the “enrollment” rates for the provincially sanctioned monopoly EMR program.
Taxpayers may not be quite so pleased. Here’s why:
The Department of Health tells us 950 doctors are eligible to sign up for the program. Using NBMS statistics, we know that approximately 25% of these are salaried doctors, the rest are paid by fee-for-service.
Eligible salaried doctors will pay nothing up front for their Velante EMR, and will pay no monthly fees, and they won’t have to buy paper, print cartridges, internet access fees, phone charges for fax lines, and so on. The entire $24,000 to set them up will be paid by taxpayers. Monthly taxpayer costs, including $395 paid directly to Velante, could easily total over $600 per doctor, maybe more.
Fee for service doctors will kick in $8000 each to get set up, and government will cover the other $16,000.
Take a look at what that will cost taxpayers for the first year, if Velante is successful in it’s plan to monopolize the market.
Salaried doctors: 237 doctors x ($24,000 startup + ($600 x 12 months)) = $7,394,400
Fee-for-service doctors: 713 doctors x $16,000 = $11,408,000
Total cost of the first year of the Velante monopoly to the taxpayer: $18,802,400
Close to $19 million dollars. In one year. Paid for by your tax dollars.
Compare that with what my EMR has cost the taxpayers. Zero. Not a penny.
Not bad, eh? Province-wide there are about 100 doctors who have done the same thing. We’ve been doing it for years. Our EMR’s reduce wasteful repetitive lab tests, ensure timely and effective follow-up of chronic illness, reduce medication errors, and improve the health of our patients.
All at no charge to to you.
So… explain to me again… how is the Velante system a good deal for New Brunswickers?