Joel White, executive director of the Health IT Now Coalition, outlined the growing importance of broadband in the medical field, especially in record-keeping, diagnostics and treatments in rural areas. The executive director points out that increasing broadband investment in the healthcare sector would help reduce errors, while also decreasing costs.
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Consulting firm McKinsey & Co. recently provided an estimate indicating that, if properly implemented, best-practice health IT policies could create health savings of $40 billion in one year. This amount eclipses the $27 billion the federal government will spend on Medicare and Medicaid initiatives for electronic medical records.
Lawyer Marty Robins recently penned an article for The Huffington Post, in which he examined some of the privacy concerns that stem from the new “meaningful use” regulations for electronic medical records.
Two major tech companies, General Electric and Intel, are teaming up to help those suffering from chronic illnesses by delivering healthcare services remotely.
The FCC and FDA will team up to create an efficient regulatory process for wireless-enabled medical devices and services after the two federal agencies signed a memorandum of understanding.
According to the MOU, the FDA will be responsible for the safety of the device itself, while the FCC will oversee efficient use of airwaves needed by the devices.
Under the new health IT regulations passed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), all physicians will be required to use electronic prescriptions instead of relying on hand-writing them or will be penalized financially by the federal government. The regulation goes into effect in 2012.
This past Thursday ITIF hosted an event entitled “Leading Innovations in Healthcare Technology.” Rob Atkinson of ITIF and Robert Epstein of Medco engaged the room in a discussion centered on the history and current policy of pharmaceutical research and healthcare IT in the United States. The two discussed the advent of personalized medical treatment and the possibility of targeted gene therapy for different types of cancer.
Hearing on Implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
The House Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee held a hearing on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, in 2322 Rayburn House Office Building entitled “Implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.”
Several major insurance companies have pilot programs for a self-monitoring system for patients managing congestive heart failure. Patients are able to take simple readings such as weight, blood pressure and other key metrics, which can then be transmitted to a case manager or care provider. Health care providers can catch any warning signs before patients are forced to go to the ER with anything from shortness of breath to a health attack.
Writing to the Baltimore Sun, David Horrocks of the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients and Dr. Murray Kalish, an anesthesiologist and the president of MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, detailed the recent “meaningful use” rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and how they can work for the State of Maryland.