The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes an unprecedented investment in health information technology through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). This bill seeks to accomplish four major goals to advance the use of health information technology, such as electronic health records, by:
1. Requiring the government to take a leadership role to develop standards by 2010 that allow for the nationwide electronic exchange and use of health information to improve quality and coordination of care.
2. Investing $20 billion in health information technology infrastructure and Medicare and Medicaid incentives to encourage doctors and hospitals to use HIT to electronically exchange patientsí health information.
3. Saving the government $10 billion, and generating additional savings throughout the health sector, through improvements in quality of care and care coordination, and reductions in medical errors and duplicative care.
4. Strengthening Federal privacy and security law to protect identifiable health information from misuse as the health care sector increases use of Health IT.
This Health Policy Forum will review the strategy and progress to date toward achieving these aims. Trudi Matthews, director of policy and public relations with HealthBridge, one of the nation's leading health information exchanges, will speak.