Bipartisan group wants public and private health IT, reform efforts aligned

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), led by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, is making a strong case that health IT is essential to transforming the U.S. healthcare delivery system.

On June 2, the BPC released a progress report entitled "The Role of Health IT in Supporting Health Care Transformation: Building a Strong Foundation for America's Health Care System." Authored by Janet Marchibroda, former head of the eHealth Initiative and chair of the BPC's recently created Health IT Initiative, the report recommends closer alignment of the current public and private health IT and health reform efforts. In addition, the report calls for the application of early health IT lessons to larger scale implementations and enhanced strategies for engaging consumers in reform efforts.

More specifically, the report recommends that:

  • The public-private collaboration on health IT increase implementation aid and workforce training for small practices, small hospitals, and clinics that serve rural and underserved populations.
  • The nation should adopt a thoughtfully designed, privacy-protected strategy for advancing health information exchange.

The BPC has also assembled a health IT task force comprised of industry leaders. Later this year, the task force will release recommendations for using health IT to best utilize scarce public and private resources in support of new care delivery models that will improve the quality of care.

Besides Daschle and Frist, the Task Force includes representatives of healthcare providers, health plans, academia, consumer groups, and the corporate world. Also included are two health IT experts: David Blumenthal, MD, former National Coordinator for Health IT, and Peter Basch, MD, Medical Director, Ambulatory EHR and Health Information Technology Policy, MedStar Health in Washington, D.C.

To learn more:
- see the BPC report (.pdf)
- read the announcement 

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