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Bills Would Boost Health IT

 

Legislation aimed at boosting information technology seems likely to have a place in any Medicare reform bill, say Washington insiders.

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), chairman of the Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, introduced the "Healthcare Information Technology Quality and Improvement Act of 2005," with ranking member Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). The bill would require health IT systems to work with all other systems, and authorize a national health IT contractor and a "Best Practices Center."

The Enzi-Kennedy bill also would provide grants to help providers move to health IT systems.

The Grassley-Baucus pay-for-performance bill also calls for a three-year, six-site demonstration project on health IT, aimed at determining the "threshold" amount of IT that physicians need in order to collect quality data and use it to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries.


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