Lawmakers reintroduce health IT bills

June 8, 2007

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has unveiled some of the health policies she'll seek to implement if she becomes President in 2008 (Government Health IT, May 24, and New York Times, May 25). High on her list of priorities is the promotion of health IT.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has unveiled some of the health policies she'll seek to implement if she becomes President in 2008 (Government Health IT, May 24, and New York Times, May 25). High on her list of priorities is the promotion of health IT. She proposes spending $3 billion a year to help physicians and hospitals put in IT systems, and wants to establish incentives for doctors to use the technology. This year, she says, she'll try to win passage of a bill that would require government health programs and private insurers that participate in those programs to support health IT.

Some other legislators are also mounting efforts to promote health IT (iHealthBeat, May 17). Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D.-MI) and Sen. Olympia Snow (R.-ME) recently reintroduced a bill that would give more than $4 billion in grants over five years to providers who acquire EHRs and other types of health IT. The bill also proposes tax incentives and extra Medicare payments for adopters of the technology.

Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS) relaunched legislation he cosponsored last year that would establish an Independent Health Record Bank, geared to funding health IT networks. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), a physician has reintroduced a bill that would provide tax incentives for health IT adoption. And Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), who has made health IT his signature issue, has also promised to relaunch the bill he and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) introduced in 2005 that would reward doctors and hospitals for forming electronic networks.