FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As Industry Attacks, National Partnership Defends Health Information Technology Provisions In Economic Recovery Bill
WASHINGTON, DC — February 4, 2009 — With powerful industry groups, from pharmaceutical manufacturers to health plans to major drug store chains, attacking the health information technology (HIT) provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the National Partnership for Women & Families has issued a “claim vs. reality” fact sheet that explains how these provisions will improve health outcomes and benefit patients, while protecting their privacy. The new paper, “Claim vs. Reality: HIT and Privacy in the Economic Recovery Package” was delivered to key health staff members in every Senate office this week.
“The nation will benefit significantly if Congress advances the adoption and use of private and secure health information technology in the economic recovery legislation,” said National Partnership President Debra L. Ness. “With strong protections to guard against inappropriate uses and disclosures of patients’ health information, electronic medical records can do a tremendous amount to reduce medical errors, streamline care, and reduce costs. We urge lawmakers to view industry claims to the contrary with deep suspicion, and examine whether those making the claims have a financial interest in blocking progress on HIT that includes strengthening privacy protections. We are convinced that the HIT privacy provisions in the economic recovery bill will enhance patient care and earn consumer trust. They should not be weakened, or eliminated from this bill.”
The National Partnership leads the Consumer Partnership for e-Health — a non-partisan group of consumer, patient and labor organizations representing more than 127 million people.
The new paper refutes specious claims that the new provisions will: be burdensome to implement; imperil disease management and consumer education; limit important health promotion, quality improvement and care coordination; and lead to frivolous lawsuits and inconsistent interpretation of the law. It is available at www.nationalpartnership.org/stimulus-myths.
Congress is aiming to send President Obama economic stimulus legislation by the middle of February.
The National Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, fairness in the workplace, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.