A congressional task force made up of moderate Democratspart of the New Democrat Coalitionwith an eye toward passing doable healthcare legislation said it would push for the passage of an electronic-prescribing bill that gives doctors financial incentives to adopt such systems.
Reps. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), a former nurse, Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), a former healthcare administrator, and Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), a one-time hospital executive, officially debuted its health reform agenda on Capitol Hill. Health information technology is one part of a broader mission, which the lawmakers said would also include efforts to better coordinate chronic-disease care and bolster pay-for-performance and comparative effectiveness programs.
The U.S. invests more resources in healthcare than any other country in the world, Schwartz said in a written statement. Yet, more than 45 million Americans remain uninsured, and our healthcare delivery system is too often inaccessible and inefficient.
Schwartz co-sponsored a bill last year that would provide a one-time incentive of several thousand dollars to each qualifying physician as a means to help them purchase and implement e-prescribing. The bill would also offer bonus payments for each Medicare prescription that is written electronically while penalizing those who dont e-prescribe after 2011. -- by Matthew DoBias
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