Health IT: W.Va. Savings Forecast; Federal Official Foresees Private-Sector Dominance
West Virginia could save $1.1 billion in health spending by government agencies, private insurers and consumers, if the health system would switch to electronic records and do a better job centralizing patient care, according to a new report by the West Virginia Health Care Authority, a governmental group, The Associated Press/New York Times reports. In addition to medical records, the report urges a switch to "e-prescribing" and the medical home model of patient care. State run plans and private insurers pooled data for 800,000 West Virginia residents to produce the analysis (12/7).
Also in news about health information technology, David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology at the Department of Health and Human Services, said private industry would take over from the federal government as the driving force in health information technology, Modern Healthcare reports. Despite on-going, large-scale investments in health IT by the government, Blumenthal said he can imagine a time when "the feds won't be in this business." Instead, he said, they'd be trying to keep up with private-sector advancements in health technology (Lubell, 12/7).