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ACP commends Congress for including health care reform in economic stimulus legislation
Date:2/11/2009

Washington, February 11, 2009 "The House of Representatives and the Senate are to be commended for including an important 'down payment' on health care reform in the economic stimulus bills," Jeffrey P. Harris, MD, FACP, president of the American College of Physicians, said today.

"I urge conferees to come to an agreement that will provide adequate funding for critical health care issues including coverage, health information technology, comparative effectiveness and primary care. These investments will provide short- and long-term benefits to the economy," noted Dr. Harris.

Specifically, Dr. Harris urged House and Senate negotiators to:

1. Retain more than $20 billion in funding to help physicians and other clinicians acquire health information technology (HIT).for purposes such as quality reporting, prevention and coordination of care. Dr. Harris urged the conferees to adopt language from the Senate bill to continue to build upon the work being done by public and private multi-stakeholder groups to develop standards and certify that electronic health records have essential capabilities and functions. His letter also expressed support for providing positive financial incentives for HIT adoption as included in both the House and Senate bills, but asked conferees to accept language in the House of Representatives bill to provide a longer timeframe and increased assistance to smaller physician practices before any penalties for non-compliance are imposed.

2. Provide more than $1 billion in funding for comparative effectiveness research as a first step to creating and funding an independent entity to conduct rigorous, evidence based evaluations of the effectiveness of different medical treatments.

3. Retain the $600 million to fund training of primary care physicians under the National Health Services Corps and Title VII health professions programs that is included in the House bill.

"The U.S. needs more than 16,000
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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