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Verizon Executive Urges Congress to Pass Health Care IT Legislation
Date:6/4/2008

WASHINGTON, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Noting that health care is one of the few segments of the American economy not to have been transformed by modern, efficient information technology, a Verizon executive Wednesday (June 4) urged Congress to pass a health care information technology bill that has broad support.

Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, Marc Reed, Verizon executive vice president for human resources, expressed concern that further delays to establishing a foundation in law for the use of health care IT, including incentives for adoption and procedures for setting standards, would be costly -- and in many cases, lethal.

"According to the Institutes of Medicine, as many as 100,000 people die each year from medical errors," Reed testified. "One way to help prevent these errors is access to accurate and up-to-date electronic records, and that is exactly what Health IT provides. I urge all members of Congress to vote to enact this legislation this year. Passage will be a big step toward creating the 21st century health care system that America needs."

Health IT can connect doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, labs and patients with complete and up-to-date test results, prescription records, the latest best-practice information, and access to medical histories at any time. According to the RAND Corporation, Health IT has the potential to save as much as $81 billion a year in efficiencies and improved health outcomes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that as much as 30 percent of health costs could be eliminated through widespread adoption of Health IT.

Some of the benefits include patients having the ability to access and review a doctor's advice in private and at their convenience, look up test results, and confirm prescriptions. Adult children of aging parents would be able to participate in the decision-making and care, and patients in rural areas could, in many cas
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