Private Firms Take Up Torch Of Health IT Push
Health insurance companies, doctors' professional associations and provider organizations are taking efforts to move hospitals and physicians towards 'meaningful use' of information technology into their own hands, The Hill reports. The initiatives include "zero interest financing and other financial incentives for physician practices to purchase records systems; training and education to put them in place; recognizing providers who have adopted electronic health records through premium designations; and eventually requiring that providers shift to paperless records in order to stay in insurance networks and retain their certification" (Pecquet, 8/5).
Government Health IT, a publication of an e-health trade group: The effort earned the praise of the top federal health IT official. "Dr. David Blumenthal, the national coordinator for health IT, today cited recently started projects by health care industry organizations as the kinds of public-minded ventures that will be necessary to build an nationwide electronic health care system" (Mosquera, 8/5).
Modern Healthcare: Blumenthal's praise, and the industry's unveiling of new efforts, came at an event sponsored by Health Affairs and Brandeis University. "Representatives from UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellPoint were among the payer organizations that outlined new efforts to promote health IT adoption. UnitedHealth, for example, is deploying on a national scale its performance-based contracting program, which provides outcomes-based financial incentives to physicians who have successfully adopted EHRs that meet meaningful-use criteria" (Lubell, 8/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.