84 Ind. L.J. Supp. 23 (2009)

handle is hein.journals/spplmntinlj1 and id is 1 raw text is: Bottom-Up or Top-Down? Removing the Privacy Law
Obstacles to Healthcare Reform in the National Healthcare
Crisis
JOHN W. HILL,* ARLEN W. LANGVARDT** & JONATHAN E. RINEHART
The nation is faced with a healthcare crisis of monumental proportions that
threatens the economic stability of the nation and raises moral issues of healthcare
quality and availability.' Politicians rant about healthcare reform, but often this ranting
may reflect more political posturing than efficacy in the solutions proposed. Amid the
rancor, one of the most underdiscussed facets of the crisis is that of the legal obstacles
that need to be removed if the nation is to enjoy the full benefits of a true national
healthcare system, as opposed to the current patchwork of local systems cobbled
together by a morass of operational and legal cords.3 Indeed, the U.S. healthcare
system has been analogized to a modem airliner flown with biplane controls in terms of
its diagnostic and treatment capabilities versus its administrative and clinical
operations. In terms of its cost, politics, quality, and efficiency, healthcare is no longer
a state and local issue but rather a national one,' and one that threatens the U.S.
economy.6 Continuing with the aircraft analogy, it is as if air traffic is being governed
by state laws with each state having a somewhat different set of rules-some of
which prohibit flying across state lines. We argue that both the quality of future
treatment and its cost depend to a significant extent upon rationalizing laws that govern
* Arthur M. Weimer Chair, Professor of Accounting and Life Sciences Fellow. Center for
the Business of Life Sciences. Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.
** Professor of Business Law and Life Sciences Fellow. Center for the Business of Life
Sciences, Kelley School of Business. Indiana University.
*** J.D. Candidate. 2010. Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington;
M.B.A. Candidate, 2010. Kelley School of Business. Indiana University.
1. See, e.g., U.S. GEN. ACCOUNTING OFFICE. No. GAO-04-793SP, COMPTROLLER
GENERAL'S FORUM: HEALTHCARE 3 (2004), available at http://www.gao.gov/cgi-
bin/getrpt?GAO-04-793 SP [hereinafter HEALTHCARE FORUM] (stating that the public and private
sectors are facing major challenges with respect to cost, access, and quality of healthcare).
2. See Paul Krugman & Robin Wells, The Healthcare Crisis and What to Do About It,
N.Y. REV. OF BOOKS. Mar. 23, 2006, available athttp://www.nybooks.com/articles/18802 (book
review).
3. See generally John W. Hill, Arlen W. Langvardt & Anne P. Massey, Law, Information
Technology, and Medical Errors: Toward a National Healthcare Information Network
Approach to Improving Patient Care and Reducing Malpractice Costs. 2007 U. ILL. J.L. TECH.
& POL'Y 159, 236-37 (examining the current state of the national healthcare system and some of
the legal issues attending a move toward a national health information network).
4. See Roy L. Simpson, Medical Errors, Airplanes, and Information Technology, NURSING
MGMT., June 2000. at 14.
5. See Sharon R. Klein & William L. Manning, Telemedicine and the Law, HEALTH L.
RESOURCE. http://www.netreach.net/~wmanning/telmedar.htm. For a discussion ofthe failure of
the legal and regulatory environment to keep up with changes in distributive medicine. see id.
6. Diana Manos. GAO: Healthcare Costs Threaten to Undo American Economy,
HEALTHCARE      FIN.    NEWS       Jan.    31,     2008,     available    at
http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/printStory.cms?id=7603.

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