The Consumer Partnership for eHealth offered it opinion of what is needed for Stage 3, writing, “We believe the ‘Meaningful Use’ EHR Incentive Program offers a significant, unprecedented opportunity to reduce health disparities by addressing not only the multi-faceted needs of individuals and groups, but also the overlapping needs of all populations.
The National Partnership for Women & Families says that more than 40 million private sector workers, about 40 percent of the workforce, don’t earn paid sick days.
“Prior to the ACA, individual plans or small group plans would do gender rating, where they would charge a higher rate for women than men for the same insurance plan,” says Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, senior health policy counsel at the National Partnership for Women and Families. “If you were a small business that employed a majority of women, you paid a higher rate. But now you can no longer rate a plan based on gender.”
Twenty years after Congress enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act, the law continues to evolve.
Paid family leave refers to policies that allow workers to take time off from work to recover from illness, to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a newly born or adopted child.
The Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH) is a non-partisan group made up of more than 50 consumer, patient and labor organizations and led by the National Partnership for Women & Families, a group that has been working in health information technology policy since 2005.
"Expansion of the District's law on paid sick days to include bar and restaurant workers...is badly needed. It is unfortunate that opponents are trotting out the same baseless, discredited arguments they used five years ago to try to block progress."
Debra Ness of the National Partnership for Women and Families... called them "a tremendous victory for home care workers, fair pay, quality care and the well-being of our nation. The home care workforce has been grossly undervalued for much too long...Nearly half of home care workers rely on public assistance to make ends meet because of poverty-level wages and few benefits. These regulations will help change this grave injustice and improve working conditions."
"We have the chance to leverage Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use Program to make significant progress in addressing disparities, said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families - the group spearheading the CPeH coalition - in a press statement.
Right now, such benefits are still purely dependent on where you work. I can tell you about 100 employers that are committed to supporting new working parents, but for too many employees, the juggle is still a struggle. That's why we joined with the National Partnership for Women and Families to demand a federal mandate for paid family leave.
“The ability to decide when and how we have children is critical to our economic well-being,” said Judy Lichtman of the National Partnership for Women and Families.
“As a nation, we must do more to close the wage gap, which is present in every part of the country, regardless of women’s occupation, education or work patterns,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
“It's past time we update our standards to reflect the realities of the way we work and live in the 21st century,” said Vicki Shabo, director of work and family programs for the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Board members, who often hire chief executives, need to do a better job of making sure women are not shortchanged, says Judith Lichtman, senior adviser to the Partnership for Women and Families.
Women are paid less than men—on average, 77 cents on the male dollar, according, most recently, to a 2013 report from the National Partnership for Women & Families.
"So now we'll have a new world in which women will not have to pay more than men for the same insurance policies," says Lauren Birchfield Kennedy. She is senior health policy council for the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Katherine also told me about legislation that's been drafted by the National Partnership for Women and Families that would give workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave at very little cost to workers or employers.
The Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH), a partnership of nearly 50 organizations, and the National Partnership for Women & Families, a patient advocacy group, released a joint Disparities Action Plan, a strategy for using health information technologies, such as electronic health records, and consumer technologies to identify and highlight race- and economic status-related health disparities.
Are the requirements for eligible hospitals and professionals doing enough to help reduce disparities in healthcare? The answer to that question is no although the EHR Incentive Programs do have the potential to do so, claim the authors of a new action plan issued by the Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH).
The National Partnership for Women and Families cautions that pregnancy-related counseling, prenatal care, midwifery services, enhanced coverage for high-risk pregnancies, labor and delivery services outside of a hospital setting and neonatal care may not be included in every plan.
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