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Bipartisan Committee Promotes Health IT

January 30, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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A Bipartisan Committee is recognizing health information technology’s critical role in improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of care. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Task Force on Delivery System Reform and Health IT recently released a set of recommendations for the most effective use of health IT dollars to support delivery system and payment reforms to achieve improved health, better health care, and reductions in the cost of care.  

The committee recommended realigning incentives and payments to support higher quality, more cost-effective care to increasing the use of electronic health records (EHR) and health information exchange to improve care coordination by enabling doctors, hospitals, and patients to securely share health information when patients receive their care in multiple settings.

“There is strong bipartisan support for health IT, and for moving away from a payment model that largely focuses on volume — rewarding providers for doing more — rather than on quality outcomes or value,” Senator Daschle, Co-leader of BPC’s Health Project at today’s release, said in a statement.

The Task Force recommends actions for aligning incentives and payment with higher quality, more cost-effective care, along with the health IT-enabled, coordinated, accountable, patient-centered delivery models that support such outcomes. To further accelerate health information exchange, the Task Force recommends that the next phase of Meaningful Use and related standards and certification programs support the more robust exchange of standards-based data across multiple settings; public-private sector agreement on and execution of a common set of principles, policies and methods for exchange in the near-term; and the development and execution of a long-term strategy for the data standards and interoperability needs associated with delivering care, empowering patients, and improving population health.

Educating consumers about the benefits of electronic tools, and promoting their use, is an additional focus of the Task Force’s recommendations. The Task Force also recommends several actions to promote the use of electronic tools to improve patient-provider communication, coordinate care, expand access and empower individuals to manage their health and health care.

The full report can be read here

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