As part of the new Recovery Act funding, President Obama pushes health information technology systems for community health care centers.
President Obama is seeding the health care industry with another $88
million in funding for
health care centers to adopt new health information technology systems
their administrative and financial matters and transfer old paper files
to electronic medical records. The initiative is part of $600 million
in stimulus money that will go toward improving community health
centers across the country.
"These investments won't
just increase efficiency and lower costs, they'll improve the quality
of care as well -- preventing countless medical errors, and allowing
providers to spend less time with paperwork and more time with
patients," Obama said Dec. 9.
The new Recovery Act funds are the latest in a series of grants
awarded to community health centers, which deliver preventive and
primary care services at more than 7,500 service delivery sites around
the country to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Health
centers serve more than 17 million patients, about 40 percent of whom
have no health insurance.
Both programs will be administered by the HRSA (Health Resources and
Services Administration), an agency of the HHS (U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services).
Obama also directed the HHS
to implement a demonstration program designed to evaluate the impact
of the advanced primary care practice model on access, quality and cost
of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries served by community health
This model, known as the "medical home," promotes accessible,
continuous and coordinated family-centered care. Developed and
administered by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services),
the demonstration will last three years. CMS anticipates that up to
500 health centers will participate.
According to a Dec. 8 PricewaterhouseCoopers report, the market for
personalized medicine in the United States is already $232 billion, and
it is projected to grow 11 percent annually.The
personalized medical care portion of the market -- including
telemedicine, health information technology and disease management
services offered by traditional health and technology companies -- is
estimated at $4 billion to $12 billion and could grow tenfold to more than
$100 billion by 2015 if telemedicine takes off.
"These three initiatives -- funding for construction, technology and
a medical home demonstration -- they won't just save money over the
long term and create more jobs, they're also going to give more people
the peace of mind of knowing that health care will be there for them
and their families when they need it," Obama said. "And ultimately, that's what health insurance reform is really about."