06 Apr Sebelius promotes importance of health IT in confirmation hearings
WASHINGTON – Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius told congress members that she strongly supports healthcare IT in confirmation hearings for her nomination to the post of Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary.
“Through health information technology, it lays the foundation for a 21st-century system to reduce medical errors, lower healthcare costs, and empower health consumers. In the next five years, HHS will set the standards for privacy and interoperability, test models and certify the technology, and offer incentives for hospitals and doctors to adopt it,” Sebelius said in testimony, noting that the economic stimulus package makes positive investments now that will yield health and economic dividends later.
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote on her nomination as Department of Health and Human Services Secretary as early as next week.
If confirmed Sebelius would have a number of key roles in determining healthcare IT policy under the stimulus package. She would decide how doctors and hospitals will be paid bonuses for use of healthcare IT to improve quality of care. She would also determine the next steps in standards development and certification. Also, she would oversee $2 billion stimulus funding for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, a substantial portion of which will subsidize state grants for provider loans toward healthcare IT purchases.
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