Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Presidential Executive Order

from eHI August 23 2006

President Bush signs executive order to advance better healthcare through HIT
Today is an important day for eHI's ongoing agenda to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare through information technology in America. During a 4:30 p.m. EST speech in Minnesota, President George W. Bush signed an Executive Order addressing increased interoperability, healthcare price and quality transparency and developing and identifying practices that promote high-quality healthcare, including in the area of pay for performance programs. "This is a notable step for the advancement and use of health information technology to improve healthcare in our nation," said Janet Marchibroda, eHI's chief executive officer. "The ongoing support and keen insight demonstrated by President Bush and members of his Administration on the issues at the intersection of healthcare quality and information technology are critical to move forward and to make both better patient care and interoperability a reality." Below is what is currently known about the Executive Order. A complete transcript of the Order is expected to be released by the White House later today. The Executive Order will apply to the following federal agencies: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which oversees the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program. The order directs affected agencies to comply by January 1, 2007 by initiating the following: InteroperabilityUse, where available, health information computer systems that talk to each other; Price and Quality Transparency Enact programs that measure the quality of care, and develop those measures with the private sector and other government agencies; Make available to beneficiaries the prices that agencies pay for common procedures; Pay for PerformanceDevelop and identify practices that promote high-quality healthcare. The Executive Order is also expected to have traction beyond the federal government. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt -- with the President in Minnesota -- is expected to announce that healthcare purchasers, employers, unions and state governments conducting healthcare-related business with the federal government must also first commit to the standards and requirements outlined in the Executive Order.