Health IT Is Part Of Senate Committee's New Healthcare Reform Bill

The Senate Finance Committee today released a mark-up version of its new healthcare reform bill. The America's Healthy Future Act has several technology provisions, including a proposal for bonus payments related to health IT programs.

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, Senior Writer, InformationWeek

September 16, 2009

2 Min Read

The Senate Finance Committee today released a mark-up version of its new healthcare reform bill. The America's Healthy Future Act has several technology provisions, including a proposal for bonus payments related to health IT programs.One proposal calls for new performance bonuses for Medicare Advantage providers using health IT, "including electronic health records, clinical decision support and other tools to facilitate data collection and ensure patient-centered, appropriate care."

In addition to the health IT incentive proposal, the healthcare reform bill also includes IT related provisions for niche providers of healthcare that aren't covered in the $20 billion health IT stimulus programs of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed earlier this year.

Those new proposals include a demonstration project for nursing homes to use IT to improve residents' care.

Surely, this latest bill will be dissected by Republicans, Democrats, the media and public for weeks to come. But in the meantime, the IT industry is already getting excited about the technology provisions.

"We look forward to reviewing the details, but the Chairman's announcement that his package will create new incentives for IT and web-based insurance exchanges is very promising," said Phil Bond, president of tech industry advocacy organization TechAmerica in a statement.

"Any real solution to the issues at hand will depend upon technology to improve access, quality and efficiency of healthcare. We hope lawmakers continue to keep this in mind and look for any way possible to make room for and encourage 21st century healthcare," Bond said.

Do you think any healthcare reform legislation that gets signed into law should include additional incentive programs for using health IT?

Tell us what you think.



InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on e-health and the federal stimulus package. Download the report here (registration required).

About the Author(s)

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Senior Writer, InformationWeek

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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