Speaking today at an event in Washington, House Ways and Means health subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark (D-Calif.) said that health information technology should be a priority for this years Congress. Most of the plans–pay for performance, quality–cant work without health information technology, he said.
Stark said that outcomes research or the ability to track patients five or more years after a procedure to gauge long-term health quality, "isnt possible."
"The last IT bill does nothing," he said, referring to a bill that was scuttled in the House over debate on how to finance implementation.
Stark said he favors a system where the federal government would compensate hospitals and providers over a five-year window for implementing a health IT system, gradually reducing payments until the hospital or system can fund it itself. At the outset, only one system would be used, he said, and offered the Veterans Health Administration VistA EHR system as one example.
After five years, he said, the system could be changed, altered or otherwise scrapped. The five-year window at the outset, he said, would remove current debate on which systems should be implemented and ensure that hospitals and providers quickly move to using health IT. -- by Matthew DoBias