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eHealth Initiative Lauds Inclusion of Health IT Provisions in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Date:2/17/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The independent, non-profit, multi-stakeholder eHealth Initiative congratulates both Congress and President Obama on the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes an estimated net investment of $19 billion for health information technology (IT). This figure is comprised of $2 billion in immediate, discretionary funding for the Office of the National Coordinator, an estimated $29 billion to be paid out through Medicare and Medicaid incentives, and estimated off-setting savings of $12 billion.

Provisions in the package include codification of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, grant and loan programs, privacy policies, incentives for health care professionals and hospitals through Medicare, Medicaid incentives, the establishment of two advisory committees on standards and policy, and the creation of technical assistance programs.

The health IT investments made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will not only create jobs and stimulate the economy, but also lay the foundation for the transformation of the American health care system, by improving quality and safety, saving lives, reducing health care costs, and increasing access.

The final language includes many elements from the eHealth Initiative's 2008 report Improving Our Nation's Health and Health Care through Information Technology, including significant funding to support both capital requirements and ongoing incentives for standards-based health IT for providers; support for health information exchange efforts; technical assistance for effective health IT adoption to support the transformation of care delivery; and public and private sector leadership on both standards and policy. The 2
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SOURCE eHealth Initiative
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