Congress Passes Sweeping Healthcare Reform Legislation | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Congress Passes Sweeping Healthcare Reform Legislation

March 22, 2010
by root
| Reprints

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 219 to 212 last night to approve sweeping healthcare reform legislation, following more than a year of planning, debate, and a series of legislative delays and roadblocks.

In a rare late-Sunday evening vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led 219 Democrats (no Republicans joined the majority) to first approve the healthcare reform plan passed on Dec. 24 by the U.S. Senate, and then voted 220-211 to approve a bill containing changes to the Senate plan. In the coming days, the Senate will need to approve the House’s second bill; Senate Democrats plan to use the budget reconciliation process to get around Senate Republicans’ threatened use of the filibuster tactic.

“We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things and of tackling big challenges,” President Obama said in remarks shortly after the series of votes, which had followed hours of speechmaking on the House floor.

In addition to the well-known provisions related to health insurance reform contained in the bill, which will expand health insurance coverage to as many as 32 million people, forbid insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, and ban recision (the practice of dropping insureds once they become ill), the bill contains a wide range of provisions that will impact providers. Among them are the creation of a CMS Center for Innovation, the unleashing of a variety of reimbursement innovations via demonstration projects (such as accountable care organizations and bundled payments); and the establishment of a nationwide value-based purchasing program under Medicare to pay hospitals based on performance on quality measures. The legislation would also establish a national Center for Quality Improvement and develop a national quality improvement strategy to determine nationwide quality improvement priorities; create medical home programs under Medicaid for enrollees with multiple chronic conditions; and create a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research.

The Senate is expected to act on the “fix” legislation passed by the House within days. That action would complete the legislative process, leading to President Obama signing the final bill into law.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Study: EHRs Tied with Lower Hospital Mortality, But Only After Systems Have Matured

Over the past decade, there has been significant national investment in electronic health record (EHR) systems at U.S. hospitals, which was expected to result in improved quality and efficiency of care. However, evidence linking EHR adoption to better care is mixed, according to medical researchers.

Nursing Notes Can Help Predict ICU Survival, Study Finds

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario have found that sentiments in healthcare providers’ nursing notes can be good indicators of whether intensive care unit (ICU) patients will survive.

Health Catalyst Completes Acquisition of HIE Technology Company Medicity

Salt Lake City-based Health Catalyst, a data analytics company, has completed its acquisition of Medicity, a developer of health information exchange (HIE) technology, and the deal adds data exchange capabilities to Health Catalyst’s data, analytics and decision support solutions.

Advocate Aurora Health, Foxconn Plan Employee Wellness, “Smart City,” and Precision Medicine Collaboration

Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health is partnering with Foxconn Health Technology Business Group, a Taiwanese company, to develop new technology-driven healthcare services and tools.

Healthcare Data Breach Costs Remain Highest at $408 Per Record

The cost of a data breach for healthcare organizations continues to rise, from $380 per record last year to $408 per record this year, as the healthcare industry also continues to incur the highest cost for data breaches compared to any other industry, according to a new study from IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute.

Morris Leaves ONC to Lead VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization

Genevieve Morris, who has been detailed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from her position as the principal deputy national coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, will move over full time to lead the newly establishment VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization.