The American Health Care System is a hot mess which Obamacare only made worse, as even the Affordable Care Act’s proponents now concede. While Congress seems unable to move on extracting Obamacare from the American Health Care system, a number of technology companies are developing innovations that promise to lower the costs of medicine and at the same time improve outcomes. The New York Times has featured one of these enterprises, a startup called Aledade.

The problem in health care is information

Under the American system, most people have a primary care physician who is supposed to coordinate care for a patient, sending him or her to specialists, and react to various events such a visit to the emergency room. However, no easy way exists for the family doctor to monitor his or her patient when he or she navigates that byzantine system.


What Aledade claims to do

Aledade is a software system that allows primary care physicians to have all the information they need on their patients at their fingertips. They would know instantly if a person under their care was admitted to an emergency room and what treatment he or she received. Doctors will know what kind of treatments their patients are covered for, what conditions they have, and what sort of procedures and medications they have received.

For instance, Aledade will tell doctors when their patients have been discharged from the ER so that they can schedule a follow-up visit. The software also tells them when their patients are due for an annual physical or wellness exam.

The result is that a primary care physician will know what kind of treatments his or her patients need and, more importantly, what they don’t need.

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A lot of the drivers of Health Care Costs consist of repeated tests and unnecessary procedures. Also, preventative care, done expeditiously, can often detect conditions early before they become more dangerous.

Can technology do what government cannot do?

For a system like Aledade to work, more doctors have to gain acceptance of it and see its benefits in driving down health care costs and improving patient outcomes. The former is of particular importance for physicians who accept Medicaid patients and are not as well compensated as they might be. However, companies such as Aledade have to prove that they can deliver what they claim they can.

Governments have a sad record of making the problems of health care worse, as the record of Obamacare proves.


The suggestion that single payer will fix the problem is laughable on its face and is not supported by real world experience. Perhaps, in the end, technology entrepreneurs will save health care after all.