Friday, December 5, 2008

Throwing Money at the Health Train

As long as we are at it, how about throwing  50 or 100 billion toward those underpriveleged hospitals and doctors.  This is a national crisis which undermines  the health and welfare of all.   Get it while the spigot is flowing.  Do we want cars or health??

iHealthbeat reports: 

Lawmakers Consider Adding Health IT to Stimulus Package

Congressional health care leaders are considering adding health IT provisions to an economic stimulus package being developed by aides to President-elect Barack Obama and congressional staff, Government Health IT reports.

Congressional sources say that one strategy would be to attach the Wired for Health Care Quality Act to the economic stimulus legislation (McCloskey, Government Health IT, 12/4).

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and ranking member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) introduced the bill (S 1693) to create a national electronic health record system more than a year ago, but privacy issues and funding concerns prevented the legislation from reaching the floor.

On Thursday, an aide to Enzi said the senator has not seen enough details of the economic proposal to know whether adding health IT to it would "blow the budget."

Blow the budget??  You mean if all this stimulus package fails it will be the providers and hospitals that caused it all.

Health Policy Experts Urge Caution

At this week's annual e-Health Initiative conference in Washington, D.C., health policy experts raised concerns about driving health IT adoption through a financial stimulus program.

Mark McClellan, director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution, said that efforts to finance health IT would be most effective if they are linked to specific standards or functional and performance requirements focused on health outcomes.

He said that although direct financing could increase health IT adoption, he is "not sure that by itself, it would lead to better care."

Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, a physician and former governor of Vermont, cautioned that standards and uses of systems underwritten by a stimulus would have to be widely tested and accepted prior to purchasing (Government Health IT,

Unlike the financial world and credit fiasco, as well as the impending demise of the big 3 (not so big anymore), throwing money at the healthcare system will not cure the problems..

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