The Department of Health and Human Services bolstered its case for spending on health IT projects with a pair of reports which argue that a national health information network and a system of electronic health records could save taxpayers between $51 million and $181 million by preventing fraud. The first report, commissioned by the office of Health IT coordinator Dr. David Brailer, notes that automated coding software could help fight fraud significantly. The second argues that HIT applications should be refined to cut back on abuse in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
It's been clear that technology can help control healthcare costs for a long time, of course. Readers will recall that a pair of New York Times reporters armed with little more than a laptop were able to detect the billion-dollar fraud in New York's Medicaid program.