Dr. Joseph Kim, who writes the Medicine and Technology blog (among others), sums up his experiences of attending a virtual conference of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society this week by asking many questions.
Kim’s summary question is: Is Health IT the root of health care reform?
President Barack Obama intends to establish a reserve fund of more than $630 billion to pay for health care reform over 10 years. Will health IT revolutionize health care? Kim asks. Will it reduce health care costs?
Here are some facts from the virtual conference to consider, Kim says:
- By 2016, we will be spending over $4 trillion a year on health care.
- More than 40 percent of Americans suffer from chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
Obama is setting aside $20 billion of economic stimulus money for health IT, Kim says. Here are some pieces of the pie:
- $2.5 billion for distance learning, telemedicine and broadband development in rural areas
- $1.5 billion for construction, renovation and the Health Resources and Services Administration
- $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research within the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Incentives for “meaningful use” of health information technology will largely be provided by Medicare and Medicaid, the national health programs for the elderly, disabled and poor.
One of the criteria for meaningful use of health IT is certification, Kim says. In order for an electronic health record — the basic unit for a lot of the discussion on health care IT — to be certified, according to the guidelines of the federal recovery and reinvestment act, it must:
- Provide clinical decision support
- Support computerized physician order entry
- Capture and query information relevant to health care quality
- Exchange and integrate e-health information with other sources
More stories worth a read:
- NEOUCOM appoints BeST Center director (Hudson Hub Times)
- Respected doctor dies of cancer (Columbus Dispatch)
- UW spinout, Beat BioTherapeutics, aims to make stem cells for damaged hearts (Xconomy | Seattle)
- Efficiency = More state aid (Running a Hospital blog)
- Cord Blood Registry maintains solid growth in first quarter 2009 (PRNewswire)
- Genomes! Get your genomes! Just $50K (Forbes)
- State to invest $11 million in expansion of Doylestown (Pennsylvania) Hospital (PRNewswire)
- FDA panel OKs more antipsychotics for children (Wall Street Journal Health blog)
- American Medical Association looks to put brakes on debt load of med students (Wall Street Journal Health blog)
- One trial for twin docs, or two? (Cincinnati Enquirer)
- Dendreon, resisting urge to sell, eyes opportunity to be Seattle’s next Immunex (Xconomy | Seattle)
- Doctor of nursing practice exam challenged by some physicians (FierceHealthcare)
- Minneapolis hospital announces new CEO (Becker’s Hospital Review)
- 3 Cardinal Health directors heading to spinoff (Business First of Columbus)
[Image courtesy of Flickr user Southerntabitha]
Reserve your seat now for MedCity CONVERGE, to be held July 9-10 in Philadelphia. Discover strategies, solutions and startups in healthcare innovation. Be a part of this gathering where the entire healthcare ecosystem converges.