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Senate Republican Budget Would End Health Initiatives That Save Lives and Money
Date:5/21/2009

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Elimination of funding for the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform as proposed by the Senate Republican budget plan would end a wide range of critical projects focused on reducing the rate of health care cost increases, improving quality of care and expanding access, GOHCR director Ann Torregrossa said today.

For the past two years the small "think tank" office has been working to implement the Governor's Prescription for Pennsylvania -- a nationally recognized blueprint for improving health care affordability, access and quality. Before that, the office worked on projects to help reform medical malpractice in Pennsylvania, to change the way the state paid for and delivered long-term living services and helped create and implement Governor Rendell's "Cover All Kids" initiative expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

"Pennsylvania leads the nation in the way we are treating chronic disease and aggressively working to eliminate health care facility acquired infections, and it doesn't make either economic or policy sense to abruptly shutter an office whose initiatives are saving lives and money," Torregrossa said in response to Senate Bill 850.

The proposal, which passed the Senate by a party line vote, eliminated all funds for implementation of the chronic care initiative and the Pennsylvania Health Information Exchange (PHIX), which is the statewide system needed to allow Pennsylvania's health care providers, payers and patients to exchange authorized electronic health information.

The chronic care initiative brings payers and primary care practices together to redesign the way care is delivered to individuals with chronic diseases, providing more active management and monitoring of patients, including efforts to help patients take more responsibility for managing their chronic conditions. It also combines the
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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