On June 17th and 18th, industry stakeholders and experts gathered to explore the impact of changes in health care policy during the Government Health IT Conference in Washington D.C.
On June 17th and 18th, industry stakeholders and experts gathered to explore the impact of changes in health care policy during the Government Health IT Conference in Washington D.C. The conference, hosted by the Health Information Management Systems Society, focused on innovation and successes in emerging care and reimbursement models following significant advances in health care and health IT.
Keynote speakers, including Congressmen Tom Price of Georgia and Michael Burgess of Texas, emphasized the growing importance of health IT in fostering advancements in the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care choices.
Speaking on the importance of electronic health records (EHR), Rep. Burgess outlined that having streamlined patient health information will greatly reduce risks associated with losing information, noting how the devastation from Hurricane Katrina forced doctors to fill in patient medical history with only their memory.
Telehealth experts including Dr. Adam Darkins, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) lead on telemedicine implementation, discussed the VA’s recent health IT activities, mentioning that telehealth services are increasingly migrating to new platforms. He attributes the shift to telehealth programs to better outcomes with lower costs, stressing that the telehealth population experiences decreases in hospital admissions and emergency room visits.
Meanwhile, Allison Viola, vice president of policy and government affairs at eHealth Initiative, stressed that interoperability advancements can have measurable impacts on our health care system, stating that, “If we work to be interoperable, patients will have less tests, we’ll save, we’ll standardize; research can be run on the data. I think the business case is there.”
Additional highlights from the two-day event came from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which announced plans to fund a set of initiatives to bring broadband connectivity to remote providers to enhance the coordination of patient care and enable remote training, essentially reducing costs.
As members of Congress, industry stakeholders and government agencies like the FCC continue to embrace technologies that empower both providers and patients to develop new systems for health care, we look forward to witnessing how the industry will transform for the better in the coming years.
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