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Adoption of health information technology will lead to higher standard of quality care

estment to purchase the necessary hardware and software. The majority of bills that have been introduced in the last Congress included the option of grants, loans, tax credits, or a combination of the three.

  • HIT alone will not lead toward full recognition of the potential benefits that include improved quality and better outcomes. The use of HIT should be directly linked to the concept of organizing care around primary and principal care. This model, called the "patient-centered medical home," is based on the premise that the best quality of care is provided not in episodic, illness-oriented care, but through patient centered care that emphasizes prevention and care coordination.

    In the 109th Congress, a flurry of legislative proposals were introduced that tried to define the federal role in speeding the adoption of HIT. ACP was particularly supportive of the bipartisan bill, H.R. 747, the "National Health Information Incentive Act," sponsored by Subcommittee Chairman Charles Gonzalez because it specifically targeted physicians in solo and small practices for which assistance could provide the most benefit. The Gonzalez legislation would have built into the Medicare physician payment system an add-on code for office visits a critical element to support HIT adoption. Under the Gonzalez bill, these fees would be triggered if the procedure or service was facilitated by HIT.

    "To achieve immediate quality and healthcare savings through HIT," Dr. Kirk concluded, "Congress must recognize the significant financial barriers for solo and small practices. It must offer creative solutions to stimulate adoption of HIT where most Americans receive health care in offices of 1-5 physicians."


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  • Contact: David Kinsman
    dkinsman@acponline.org
    202-261-4554
    American College of Physicians
    28-Mar-2007


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