Friday, February 18, 2005

Brailer Discusses Upcoming Health IT Plans

Brailer Discusses Upcoming Health IT PlansFebruary 18, 2005
National Health Information Technology Coordinator Dr. David Brailer on Thursday addressed federal health IT plans for the coming year, including responses his office has received for advice in developing a national health information network, Modern Physician reports (Conn, Modern Physician, 2/17). Brailer also said his office will continue funding regional health information exchange efforts to advance the implementation of a natonal network, and he will hold a stakeholder meeting to address interoperability issues, AHA News reports (AHA News, 2/17). Brailer, speaking at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference, said the proposals focused on seven common themes: data and communications standards, governance, privacy, regionalization, financing, architecture and regulation. A task force of staff members from 17 federal agencies and departments is analyzing the more than 500 responses totaling more than 5,000 pages, Modern Physician reports (Modern Physician, 2/17)."The electronic records investment by large group practices is strategic, intended to shift the market toward them," Brailer said. He also said that "we have an obligation to level the playing field," as "[w]e can't allow one part of the physician community to have the technology and another unable to afford it." Brailer said the government is considering creating an exception to a law which bars hospitals from offering financial incentives to physicians. Some experts believe that the law and anti-kickback regulations hinder IT adoption among small physician practices, Health Data Management reports (Health Data Management, 2/17).Brailer also said that the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology is scheduled to develop a standard for electronic health records in ambulatory settings by this summer (AHA News, 2/17).

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