National Partnership for Women & Families

Leading Consumer, Business Experts Laud Two Key Federal Agencies for Hitting the Right Note on Meaningful Use of HIT

First Consumer, Business Reaction to Draft Regulations Applauds Agencies for Setting Achievable and Sensible Goals
Washington, D.C. — January 14, 2010 —
Two leading experts are applauding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) for setting the bar at the right level to effectively spur the “meaningful use” of HIT in the recently published draft rule. It defines “meaningful use” of HIT, and establishes an appropriate set of measures that are achievable by a broad array of health care practitioners. It has the potential to greatly improve health care quality, according to Christine Bechtel, Vice President of the National Partnership for Women & Families and David Lansky, President and CEO of the Pacific Business Group on Health. This is the right medicine for consumers, patients, providers and payers, they say.

“As a consumer representative on the HIT Policy Committee, I applaud CMS and ONC for putting us on the right track,” said Bechtel. “At the end of the day, we must make sure consumers and patients are seeing real benefits from this incredible federal investment. The draft rule is strategic, pragmatic and designed to spur tangible improvements in health care. We look forward to working with CMS and ONC to build on and improve it.”

Lansky added that the regulation rightly acknowledges that HIT is not the end goal — but rather one of the critical tools for achieving better health outcomes and improving efficiency. “Ultimately this is not about technology, but about laying the foundation for a health care system that delivers the best care to every patient, every time, at the right cost” added Lansky, also a member of the HIT Policy Committee. “Most employers long ago adopted technologies to improve the quality and affordability of their services, and this draft rule sends a public policy signal that America’s health care providers must do the same.”

The regulation builds on the recommendations of the HIT Policy Committee, which were crafted by a wide variety of stakeholders with public input.

Both said they look forward to working with the agencies to strengthen the rule even further, and applaud the hard work and thoughtfulness they brought to this draft rule.

Christine Bechtel is the Vice President for the National Partnership for Women & Families and a member of the HIT Policy Committee. The National Partnership leads a coalition called the Consumer Partnership for eHealth, made up of more than 30 consumer organizations who support the use of health IT to improve health outcomes for patients and their families.

David Lansky, PhD, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Business Group on Health and a member of the HIT Policy Committee. PBGH co-leads with the National Partnership the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project, an effort to improve quality and efficiency throughout the health care system through measurement and public reporting.

Contact

Cindy Romero (202) 986-2600 cromero@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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