HHS head encourages payers to demand e-prescribing

It's just a blog--but look who's blogging! In a recent post, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt has suggested that not only Medicare and Medicaid, but also private payers, should demand that providers use e-prescribing technology. "E-prescribing needs faster implementation," Dr. Leavitt writes. "...Large health care providers, including Medicare and Medicaid, need to move toward making it a mandatory part of medical practice soon."

In his post, Leavitt compared the problem in promoting e-prescribing use to the issue faced by the state police department when he was governor of Utah. After finding out that key data was being buried in paperwork, he required officers to learn to use a laptop to transmit key reports, despite the fact that some barely knew how to use a keyboard. He's now suggesting that similar pushiness is called for with physicians.

Leavitt made his comments after meeting with the American Health Information Community last week, where he serves as chairman. AHIC has just begun drafting a recommendation to the Secretary's office on making e-prescribing mandatory for Medicare.

To learn more about Leavitt's comments:
- read this Government Health IT article

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