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

a role that under the antitrust laws make these payments possible.

Another casualty of the Senate budget would be elimination of the money that the commonwealth is using to plan for the Pennsylvania Health Information Exchange, or PHIX, the statewide system needed to allow Pennsylvania's health care providers, payers and patients to exchange authorized electronic health information. Access to electronic health records will improve patient safety, reduce redundant tests and procedures and reduce overall health care costs, while improving public health monitoring and tracking.

PHIX is especially critical because hundreds of millions of federal stimulus dollars will only be available to hospitals, doctors, nurses and other health care providers to purchase and implement electronic health records if their states have a health information technology "highway" that PHIX will provide. That highway must be in place to allow the sharing of data which is a requirement to qualify for the Medicare funds.

GOHCR is also leading the complex negotiations with the federal government to gain a waiver that would bring hundreds of thousands of federal dollars to expand enrollment in the state's adultBasic health insurance program by 45,000 additional uninsured adults. The current adultBasic waiting list is 221,000 people, the majority of them hardworking men and women whose jobs either don't offer health coverage or offer coverage which is too costly for them to afford.

"Over the past six years, the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform has shepherded cutting-edge health care reform projects through the General Assembly -- programs that have been recognized by experts in Pennsylvania and across the nation as innovative and forward thinking," Torregrossa said. "The investment in terms of budget dollars has been miniscule, but the results have been enormous. Eliminating this office and its programs doesn't make sense,
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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