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HHS Deputy Secretary Recognizes Grand Rapids Leaders for Improving Quality and Value in Health Care
Date:3/18/2008

the last year, HHS has designated more than 100 Community Leaders who are encouraging the growth of community-based, multi-stakeholder collaboratives working to drive health care reform. These groups were the first eligible to apply for CVE status and, after an extensive peer-review process of 38 applications, 14 collaboratives in a dozen states have been selected to receive charters from Secretary Leavitt.

During the meeting, the Secretary also encouraged St. Paul community leaders to join together and apply for a new Medicare demonstration project that provides incentive payments for physicians' use of certified electronic health records to improve patient care. The project, which will be open to small- and medium-sized primary care physician practices, is expected to reduce medical errors and improve the quality of care for an estimated 3.6 million Americans.

"The Alliance for Health is proud to be a Chartered Value Exchange," Alliance President Lody Zwarensteyn said. "This will help our efforts to advance awareness of quality and price information, to promote positive incentives to reward value in health care, and to further the exchange of health information through means such as electronic health records. Because health care is local, it is important for our community to work together on these priorities."

"Communities like Grand Rapids have a tremendous opportunity to help transform health care delivery starting at the local level," Secretary Leavitt said. "Broad adoption of interoperable electronic health records has the potential not only to improve the quality of care provided, but also to change the way medicine is practiced and delivered. By implementing this demonstration project in a dozen health markets across the country, we'll help move this nation toward a system that delivers better quality health care at lower cost for more Americans."

Over a five-year period, financial incentives will be provided to as many as
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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