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US stimulus bill may have health IT funds-Verizon

Congress’ economic stimulus package may include $20 billion for the government’s Medicaid health insurance program and others to adopt health information technology (IT), which would create jobs and improve medical care, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) chief executive Ivan Seidenberg said on Wednesday.

A key component of any legislation would be to give the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to set uniform, interoperable standards for health IT software, which would “jump-start the market” for it, Seidenberg said.

“It’s cost effective, it’s timely and it definitely will be transformative,” he told reporters at a Business Roundtable briefing on health IT. Health IT would let doctors integrate a patient’s lab test results, treatment history, and other data to improve care and cut costs.

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