January 8, 2009 - The Premier healthcare alliance sent a letter to Congressional leadership yesterday urging the inclusion of health information technology (HIT) in economic stimulus legislation.
In the letter, Premier said that HIT will improve healthcare quality, reduce errors and holds the potential for long-term savings and efficiencies for the healthcare system.
To date, high acquisition and implementation costs and lack of common interoperability standards have made substantial progress on HIT challenging, according to Premier. To rectify this, Premier recommends federal HIT interoperability standards for the storage and transmission of data captured within an electronic health record (EHR). Further, data stored and transmitted in this standard format should be readily accessible by EHR users to facilitate the automatic submission of data required for quality reporting.
Premier said significant funding incentives for certified HIT systems should be made available through loans and grants to hospitals. They also said that temporary incentives using a formula based on hospital discharges or a one percent increase in hospitals' Medicare inpatient and outpatient prospective payment system payments should be created. Hospitals currently using certified systems should also receive payment adjustments to encourage enhancements and further quality improvement.
For more information: www.premierinc.com