As the Obama administration takes steps to bring down health care costs, it has asked for public comments due today on the Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology. The Computer & Communications Industry Association shares the Administration’s view that HIT has the power to bring down health care costs and submitted comments today on how to best ensure the economic and productivity gains are indeed realized.

The following comments can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Even when our citizens receive the medical care they need, they often cannot understand what treatment they received, what they were billed, what was covered, and what they owe. A ‘cat’s cradle’ of tangled healthcare paperwork has tied the American people, medical practitioners and institutions in knots for many years and has gotten steadily worse — significantly increasing the cost of the U.S. healthcare system in ways that are wasteful and completely non-productive.

“Health IT can help save money in administering health care and make health costs more transparent to all. But to realize the real efficiency, cost and productivity gains, the definition of Meaningful Use of HIT must clearly and explicitly include the actual administration of healthcare within its meaning, down to the individual practice level.

“For the scope of ‘Meaningful Use’ to truly be meaningful, the eventual definition must be broadened to include more than just the direct provision of medical care itself. It must also clearly and specifically include the electronic modernization of the administration of that healthcare in individual and group practices, as well as clinics, hospitals and other healthcare entities and facilities.”

See file: CCIAMeaningfulUseComments.pdf

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