Monday, August 01, 2005

Federal Bill S 1418

A bi-partisan bill S.1418 the “Wired for Health Care Quality Act” merges the Frist-Clinton bill with the Enzi-Kennedy bill to expand the use of information technology to help healthcare providers adopt interoperable IT. The funding level would be $125 million for FY 2006 and $150 million in FY 2007.
The legislation would provide for:
Grants to assist in purchasing IT with states developing state loan programs to help providers purchase and implement equipment
Grants to implement regional or local health IT plans to improve healthcare quality and efficiency
A Federal Advisory Committee that would recommend data standards to support interoperable IT. Federal agencies would be required to adopt standards, and the bill would mandate that federal funds be used on technology that is consistent with the standards
The Office of National Coordinator of Health Information Technology and the American Health Information Collaborative
Grants to help health education centers incorporate health IT into programs
A Health Information Technology Resource Center
A system that would measure higher standards of quality practiced by providers to help these providers receive higher payments
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