The Obama Crony in Charge of your Medical Records

Who is Judy Faulkner? Chances are, you don’t know her — but her politically connected, taxpayer-subsidized electronic medical records company may very well know you. Top Obama donor and billionaire Faulkner is founder and CEO of Epic Systems, which will soon store almost half of all Americans’ health information.

If the crony odor and the potential for abuse that this "epic" arrangement poses don’t chill your bones, you ain’t paying attention.

As I first noted last year before the IRS witch hunts and DOJ journalist snooping scandals broke out, Obama’s federal electronic medical records (EMR) mandate is government malpractice at work. The stimulus law provided a whopping $19 billion in "incentives" (read: subsidies) to force hospitals and medical professionals into converting from paper to electronic record-keeping systems. Penalties kick in next year for any provider who fails to comply with the one-size-fits-all edict.

Obamacare bureaucrats claimed the government’s EMR mandate would save money and modernize health care. As of December 2012, $4 billion had already gone out to 82,535 professionals and 1,474 hospitals; a total of $6 billion will be doled out by 2016. What have taxpayers and health care consumers received in return from this boondoggle? After hyping the alleged benefits for nearly a decade, the RAND Corporation finally admitted in January that its cost-savings predictions of $81 billion a year — used repeatedly to support the Obama EMR mandate — were, um, grossly overstated.

Among many factors, the researchers blamed "lack of interoperability" of records systems for the failure to bring down costs. And that is a funny thing, because it brings us right back to Faulkner and her well-connected company. You see, Epic Systems — the dominant EMR giant in America — is notorious for its lack of interoperability. Faulkner’s closed-end system represents antiquated, hard drive-dependent software firms that refuse to share data with doctors and hospitals using alternative platforms. Health IT analyst John Moore of Chilmark Research, echoing many industry observers, wrote in April that Epic "will ultimately hinder health care organizations’ ability to rapidly innovate."

Question: If these subsidized data-sharing systems aren’t built to share data to improve health outcomes, why exactly are we subsidizing them? And what exactly are companies like Faulkner’s doing with this enhanced power to consolidate and control Americans’ private health information? It’s a recipe for exactly the kind of abuse that’s at the heart of the IRS and DOJ scandals.

As I reported previously, a little-noticed HHS Inspector General’s report issued last fall exposed how no one is actually verifying whether the transition from paper to electronic is improving patient outcomes and health services. No one is actually guarding against GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). No one is checking whether recipients of the EMR incentives are receiving money redundantly (e.g., raking in payments when they’ve already converted to electronic records). And no one is actually protecting private data from fraud, theft or exploitation.

But while health IT experts and concerned citizens balk, money talks. Epic employees donated nearly $1 million to political parties and candidates between 1995 and 2012 — 82 percent of it to Democrats. The company’s top 10 PAC recipients are all Democratic or left-wing outfits, from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (nearly $230,000) to the DNC Services Corporation (nearly $175,000) and the America’s Families First Action Fund Democratic super-PAC ($150,000). The New York Times reported in February that Epic and other large firms spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying for the Obama EMR "giveaway."

Brandon Glenn of Medical Economics observes "it’s not a coincidence" that Epic’s sales "have been skyrocketing in recent years, up to $1.2 billion in 2011, double what they were four years prior."

It’s also no coincidence, as a famous Democratic presidential candidate once railed, that the deepest-pocketed donors "are often granted the greatest access, and access is power in Washington." That same candidate, Barack Obama, named billionaire Democratic donor Faulkner as the only industry representative on the federal panel overseeing the $19 billion EMR "incentives" program from which her company benefits grandly.

The foxes are guarding the Obamacare henhouse. The IRS vultures are circling overhead. The shadow of tyranny and the stench of corruption are unmistakable. If you see something, say something. BOLO is our watchword.

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM

  • Joel Wischkaemper

    Michelle Malkin’s story of corruption is excellent, and doesn’t suprise me at all. What you can do with a Computer Center and seven good mainframes is chilling and very lucrative in the doing. Run one of those centers and you could decidedly wind up in a fly trap with the crooked beasts. But I wanted to respond at an angle because the main frame data centers are so massively open to abuse it is staggering. They are processing billions of names.. billions of names. Frequently the same name in say 3/4th of the entries, but the opportunity to jigger that data is almost unlimited.

    Add this: the Oracal Systems tells us it has had its security crashed one time on its firewall, and that happened only recently. You just don’t jump into a mainframe and find data and download it… at.. all. The effect is.. no one at all audited the input data on trillions of entries. No one knows exactly what is going in, and what is going out, nor do they know how to audit data that massive. Most certainly they don’t know if it is correct. One very bad apple could start jiggering data and the chance that it could be found seems to be very slim. When we look at Epic, it could be the only one who has ever checked the numbers are the people who own that business and Epic is where our health records are. Uno mass por favor.. I need some oblivion.

  • I Hate Fascists

    Hey Tokyo Rose, nice hatchet job. There is no NYT article that talks about Epic Systems with respect to lobbying. What the NYT does say is how Epic Systems grew exponentially not from government subsidies but when Kaiser Permanente chose them to digitize medical records for its 36 hospitals. So success is only celebrated when it is a right winger? Otherwise it is crony capitalism?

    • Integrity

      When is it permissible to be a racist misogynist? I guess in your world when the person is a right winger. Please provide the calculus supporting your assertion that a mere 36 hospitals would generate this exponential growth. By the way, I have issues with both political parties. You on the other hand, are so entrenched in your failed ideology that you are either delusional, dishonest, stupid, or a combination thereof. QED.

      • I Hate Fascists

        When the person is a miserable hateful racist loud mouth trash talking Fascist Pig such as Dragon Lady Malkin, yeah absolutely. When the person’s stock in trade is abuse and pushing peoples’ hot buttons and challenging the outraged liberals to respond in kind. Absolutely. She wants to intimidate me with trash talk? Anyone on this website will tell you that is not the way I roll bro. She wants to push my buttons? Well, she succeeded ok? And I will continue to abuse her until she gets the message.

        Like I already told you the calculus is contained in a NYT article.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/business/epic-systems-digitizing-health-records-before-it-was-cool.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

        There is no reference to lobbying in that article or any other NYT article that I can find. If you can find one, why don’t you post the link here.
        As for you: Were you born or were you late term aborted? Were you delivered by Kermit Gosnell? You could not possibly be this stupid unless someone cut your head open and sucked your brains out.

    • Joel Wischkaemper

      oops?

      Epic Systems involved in lobbying for health records subsidy: NY …
      http://www.bizjournals.com/…/epic-systems-involved-in-lobbying-for.html‎
      Feb 21, 2013 – Executives with Epic Systems are not commenting on a New York Times report that …

      FOLLOWING THE EPIC SYSTEMS MONEY
      http://www.nextgov.com/defense/whats-brewin/2011/03/following-the-epic-systems-money/54389/
      In that article an Epic spokeswoman said that the company does not use lobbyists, a fact I had already checked out in the lobbying reports.
      But readers pointed out Epic and its CEO, Judith Faulkner, are quite generous with their campaign contributions.

      There is ever so much more too.. do you work for Epic Systems by any chance?

      • Joel Wischkaemper

        This is the Google search.

        Epic Systems lobbying

        Google came back with… ta da..
        About 3,200,000 results (0.39 seconds)

        There is a lot of really critical information in Michelle Malkin’s posts, (plural) that it is worth while to write your congress person and beat your congress person up with the articles. Senator Flake of Arizona is already not replying to me.

      • I Hate Fascists

        Lobbying is a dirty business made a lot dirtier by Citizens United. Malkin directs her special hatred towards liberal leaning Faulkner, ignoring that organizations like Cerner whose founders are more right wing have done the exact same thing. Malkin is a hard core right winger on a mission to bring down Obamacare, Obama, and democracy and replace it with right wing Fascism.

        • Joel Wischkaemper

          I don’t agree. Nor does one article on this organization preclude articles on the right’s silly boys. As you move to the point of suggesting Malkin is working for right wing fascism, you lost credibility. Read more of her articles: you will be relieved and embarassed.

          • I Hate Fascists

            You cannot be serious bro. But ok let’s have a look at some of her recent articles:

            The crufixion of Jason Richwine: An ode to hateful Heritage Foundation “scholarship” that demeans Latins as inherently stupid

            America’s Empty Slogan: “See Something, Say Something”: An adulation of a “quick thinking” spectator for tackling a Saudi student (who had nothing to do with the Boston bombing), encouragement to “shoot first and ask questions later”

            The Open-Borders Reporters Who Banned “Illegal Immigrant”: Where any journalist not displaying sufficient hatred of illegal immigrants as deemed appropriate by Michelle Malkin Herself will have their credentials personally revoked by the very same Michelle Malkin Herself

          • Joel Wischkaemper

            Bro? Trust me, I am not your bro.

            You have made a lot of assertions. Paranoics make a lot of assertions and of course, can’t ever prove what they say is what happened, or was happening. You need to be careful about … asserting… and pointing to a problem. You can assert and bring a link.. but simply telling everyone how-it-is, is silly. Something you have just done in your reply

          • I Hate Fascists

            All the above are links that appeared on this website.

          • Joel Wischkaemper

            his is the link to the Heritage Foundations articles on Immigration.
            http://www.heritage.org/issues/immigration?ac=1
            If you find anything at all that supports your assertions, please do.. bring a link.

          • I Hate Fascists
          • Joel Wischkaemper

            Your links, if discussed, would massively move away from the subject at hand and this topic.. which deals with data bases and who sets them up, is as important as the iinformation your links use. You seem to be trying hard to turn the converstation to your liking and so, I say good by until an immigration article is published, at which time we will take your issues up.

          • I Hate Fascists

            You were the one who posted the link to Heritage Foundation articles on immigration. Don’t get into a battle of wits with no ammunition bro.

        • steve

          u dont like her because she tells the truth,,and u cant handel it..just like acorn,,cant beleive a foney co. could do what they do..they got cought on video,,plain and simple,,she is black,,so there no race agenda here,,she just wants him to do as we say,,the RIGHT THING..this Pres. dose not know anything he could of never took a business class,,look at the state of the country with 16 trillon dollars in dept..and as your thinking ,,Bush had us at 1/12 trillon,,so the Anti-American Pres. Lies on that as well.. and his press agents,,constantly use that sentence..WE DONT KNOW..JUST AS LOND AS WE CAN DO WHAT EVER WE WANT,,EVEN IF IT BREAKS THE CONSTITUTION…WERE INTITLED..WERE IN POWER,, SO SHUT UP…THE TRUTH…ITS THE KENYAN WAY…STEVE

  • DonaldYoungsRevenge

    Michelle Malkin, I have news for ya, we have a fraud and criminal sitting in the middle of the biggest “sleeper cell” in America. For that matter he is now commanding the most powerful military on the face of the earth and sitting right next to the nuclear football and you are oblivious to the scandal that got him there. Wake up an smell the SCANDAL of the century.

  • Wheels55

    Dirty politics happen on both sides. Obama seems to have rewritten the book on it.
    For all of you who voted for Obama, thanks for the nightmare!

    • veeper

      obama hasn’t re-written the book on dirty politics….

      what he has done is bring the dung hole local chicago politics mingled with Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” philosophy to the white house.

      the white house hasn’t stunk this badly since the times of no electricity or indoor plumbing.