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U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index(TM) Expands Advisory Council; Calls on Policymakers to Act on Billions in Administrative Waste
Date:2/18/2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Advisory Council for the U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index(TM) (Index) announced today the addition of new members and urged Congress and state governments to act on billions of dollars in healthcare administrative waste.

The Index was launched by Emdeon in December to serve as a national reference for tracking and measuring the transition from a paper-based and phone-based healthcare system to an electronic one. Phase 1 of the Index estimates the savings potential to be nearly $30 billion per year for five specific medical billing and payment transactions.

"The government is by far the largest payer for healthcare services," said George Lazenby, Chief Executive Officer of Emdeon. "Programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Tri-Care (for active and retired military personnel and families) and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program continue to conduct much of their business on paper or by phone. Eliminating paper checks and automating things like insurance eligibility verifications could save taxpayers billions of dollars every year."

A primary goal of the Index is to raise awareness of potential savings on the business side of healthcare. The national dialogue on health information technology, as a component of healthcare reform, remains dominated by electronic medical records (EMRs). EMRs can bring improvements in clinical quality and efficiency over the long term, but they take time and money to implement.

"The business savings identified by the Index can be realized today," said Lazenby. "This is 'found money' that can be used to pay for covering more uninsured families or providing more preventive care. We want to make sure this part of the equation does not get lost in the national debate," he explained

Getting the word out on potential savings is one of many roles for the Index Advisory Council, which held its ina
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SOURCE Emdeon
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