18 May Bill would provide federal aid for healthcare IT
Washington, D.C. – A bill to provide $4 billion in competitive grants is designed to help healthcare providers pay for information technology and services.
The bill, introduced by Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, is called the Health Information Technology Act of 2007. At least 20 percent of the grant money will be available to health facilities in rural areas or regions where the affordability of information technology is an issue.
“Although business has widely adopted new practices and tools, too often medicine remains grossly inefficient, increasing the cost of healthcare for everyone,” Snowe said in a release.
Several speakers at the recent Digital Healthcare Conference in Madison cited a lack of federal funding for the slow adoption of healthcare IT. John Wade, the chair-elect of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, said information technology would be crucial in preventing unacceptable levels of the Gross Domestic Product from being consumed by healthcare costs.
• DHC 2007: Without fuller IT adoption, health costs might drain America’s wealth
• Digital Healthcare Conference 2007: Mounting obstacles for health IT
• Visions: Wade offers straight talk on e-medical records