Members of the American Health Information Community voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt that the administration seek federal legislation to mandate that physicians seeking payment under the Medicare program use electronic prescribing systems.
The motion was made by AHIC member Scott Serota, president and chief executive officer of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The AHIC panel was established by HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt in 2005 to advise him on healthcare information-technology policy. AHIC was holding its 17th meeting in Chicago at the annual convention of the American Medical Informatics Association.
Serota's motion came after fellow AHIC member Craig Barrett, the chairman of the board of computer-chip maker Intel Corp., vented his frustration at the slow pace of physician adoption of healthcare IT.
"We've discussed this on or off for 17 meetings," Barrett said, waving his hand at Serota and CMS Administrator Kerry Weems, who were sitting next to each other across the table. "You have the purchasing power. You have the control to say, these are the standards, you won't be reimbursed unless you do it this way. In the business world, this would have been a done deal 17 meetings ago. Slam dunk. Get on with it."