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Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, Congressman Shimkus and members of the subcommittee. My name is Christine Bechtel and I am Vice President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Just over a year ago, I was also appointed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to serve as a consumer representative on the Health IT Policy Committee.
Susan Crowson is a family caregiver from Maryland who is part of the Campaign for Better Care. She looks after her father, “Pop,” who has Alzheimer’s disease, heart arrhythmia, prostate problems, low blood platelets, and is highly susceptible to other infections.
On July 13, 2010 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule detailing incentive payments for the meaningful use of certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology. With this rule, CMS has ensured that tax-payer-funded incentive payments do not simply go to digitizing paper records but to actually improving the quality of care.
The Campaign for Better Care is a multi-year initiative focused on improving delivery and payment for health care services in ways that enhance quality and coordination of care for older patients and individuals with multiple health problems.
As representatives of consumers, patients, employers, clinicians, health plans, and other health care providers, we write in strong support of the nomination of Don Berwick, M.D., to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We urge Congress to act quickly to confirm Dr. Berwick to this important position.
The Affordable Care Act calls on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop an insurance Web portal through which individuals and small businesses can identify affordable health insurance coverage options in their State.
The HITECH Act provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”) established Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments to providers who are meaningful users of certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology.
Health information technology (HIT) provides opportunities to increase health care quality, efficiency, and access to services. But along with the promise of digital tools come concerns about privacy—especially when sensitive health information is involved.
Individual consumers are the ultimate payers of all health care - and health coverage - costs. Even workers in large businesses, whose employer contributes 100% of the insurance premium for the employee, understand that their wages are reduced to reflect the cost of health coverage offered through their employer.
As you craft the final criteria for meaningful use incentives, the consumer and employer communities wish to convey our strong belief that public funding used to incentivize provider adoption of HIT must result in improvements in the quality and affordability of care, not just the presence of technology in provider settings. The incentive program created by HITECH is a major investment that can help put in place the infrastructure necessary not just for better individual health care, but also for system-wide reform.
A number of key changes to the insurance market under the Affordable Care Act go into effect in 2010. Before any regulations were released, we partnered with other consumer advocacy organizations to write to the Administration about these “immediate” insurance market reforms to ensure that implementation was guided first and foremost by the needs of patients and consumers.
The 21 undersigned organizations are members of the Consumer Partnership for e-Health (CPeH), a coalition of consumer, patient, and labor organizations working on both the national and local levels that, since 2005, has served as a strong and diverse consumer voice advocating for patient-centered policies related to health information technology (HIT).
The Interim Final Rule (IFR) on health information technology (IT) standards marks a positive step forward in the nation's efforts to improve health care by putting modern IT tools at the fingertips of medical professionals and consumers alike.
The release of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) incentive program for the Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHRs) marks a major, positive step forward in the nation's efforts to improve health and health care by putting modern information technology (IT) tools at the fingertips of medical professionals and consumers alike.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) contained significant public funding for health information technology (HIT) adoption. This expenditure of taxpayer money will be judged by the public based on whether their experience with the health care system is improved and whether it meets their needs more effectively as a result of this spending.
The Consumer Partnership for e-Health (CPeH) is a coalition of consumer, patient and labor organizations working to achieve a patient-centered health care system, enabled by health information technology that facilitates shared knowledge and informed decisions. We believe that the successful adoption and use of health information technology will only occur if there is a solid foundation of privacy and security protections that help consumers trust that their personal information will not be inappropriately shared or used.
The Consumer Partnership for e-Health is a coalition of consumer, patient and labor organizations working toward a patient-centered health care system enabled by health information technology. Transforming the health care delivery system from one centered on the needs of providers and payers, to a coordinated system of care that emphasizes active consumer participation and meaningful partnerships between patients and providers is foundational to health reform.
The Consumer Partnership for e-Health is a coalition of consumer, patient and labor organizations working toward a patient-centered health care system, enabled by health information technology and sharing of knowledge. Effective, meaningful use of HIT is an essential element of achieving the fundamental shift from a delivery system that is centered on the needs of providers and payers, to one that emphasizes active consumer participation and meaningful partnerships between patients and providers to support health improvement – a patient-centered health care system.
The Obama Administration has initiated the process to rescind a harmful regulation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services – one of the infamous ‘midnight regulations’- that became effective on the last day of the Bush Administration. The HHS regulation threatens to dramatically undermine access to a broad range of health information and services by essentially allowing health care workers and institutions an unfettered ability to refuse to provide health care services, information, and referrals that offend their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
In 2008, virtually all reproductive health debates and decisions in the legislative and policy arenas took place against the backdrop of one of the most unforgettable presidential campaigns in history – one in which voters could not have been presented with a starker choice between candidates on reproductive health policy. When the dust had settled, the country had elected a pro-choice, pro-prevention President with a strong track record of support for women’s reproductive health.
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