IT In The O.R.
Information-technology spending in the health-care sector by state and local public entities is forecasted to jump 60 percent in the next five years, according to a study by the Reston, Va.-based government consulting firm INPUT. Current spending in 2006 totals $7.6 billion. By 2011, it could top $12.2 billion.
Part of the increase, according to the report, can be attributed to grants to states from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for using health-care IT to improve quality and efficiency in patient care.
The grants, which total $150 million for 2007 and 2008, could be three times as much as the money issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. It is also the first time that CMS has allocated grants for IT spending.
Congress is also behind this push for increased health-care IT spending.
In July, the House passed the Health Information Technology Promotion Act of 2006, which is currently now before the Senate.
If passed, the bill would establish the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.
The office would be responsible for, among other things, managing and maintaining "the continuous improvement of a strategic plan to guide the nationwide implementation of interoperable health information in both the public and private health care sectors."
The National Coordinator would also be required to "serve as the coordinator of federal government activities relating to health information technology," according to the abstract of the bill produced by the Congressional Research Service
October 15, 2006
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