Turning Taxes into Something Snappy
March 15, 2011 @ 11:22 AM | By Marty Dunne
I met with my tax guy today; although he was successful in getting me a refund, I left the meeting feeling sick about the enormity of tax burden that the U.S. government has put on my family this year with TAX, TAX, TAX. Uncle Sam gets me every time I buy anything, make a paycheck, invest in real estate or create some capital gains. EVERYWHERE he is hitting me for more of my personal income. Who is this man named IRS? I am starting to feel like I am being robbed by a faceless person. I’m not trying to sound anti-American, but I have to ask where is this money going?
At least I can be comforted in the fact that the business at InterCall is benefiting in some respects because of the heavy hand of Uncle Sam. A new government mandate is forcing the healthcare industry to adopt an electronic medical records keeping system. Physicians and healthcare professionals are now required by law to stop writing and start keying/scanning in their patient data. Developing this technology system is not free. The industry is describing it as an initiative to improve the flow of information, create accuracy and reduce medical costs over time.
It is called telemedicine. Simply defined, telemedicine refers to the delivery of medical care using telecommunications, including: phone, email, Internet and other channels. In short, the government wants to mandate that all hospital records are captured electronically for easy access and movement.
One other advantage of telemedicine is to provide rural areas with access to preferred medical staff. Hot-shot urban docs can join patient consultations via video conference into areas that typically don’t receive the best medical advice or care. In a well-run, well-managed video infrastructure, anyone can have access to any medical specialist. With the advent of electronic medical records, a physician in New York City could access the medical history, tests, charts, data, etc., of a patient in rural West Virginia and, via video conference, diagnose and provide care without either party having to travel. Some may question the sacrifice of losing face-to-face interaction and bedside care with your doctor. I have become a very regular user of video conferencing, and it’s my personal opinion that this is a very reasonable opportunity.
Anyway, if my hard-earned dollars that I may normally use for a new sharp jacket or an opportunity to upgrade from my eight-year- old car are used to support these kinds of improvements, then I have lost some angst with our system and good old Uncle Sam.
Technology creates speed and precision—even for my tax guy. My small tax refund was arranged entirely without paper. Hopefully in a couple of weeks, I’ll notice an activity line in my checking account signaling that the IRS has electronically deposited my refund. Now that’s kinda snappy.