Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White responded today to the House passage of H.R. 244, the omnibus measure funding the federal government through September 30, 2017 and reflecting key priorities of the healthcare IT community. White released the following statement:
“Health IT Now is pleased to see policymakers taking bipartisan action to fund health IT priorities through this omnibus measure,” said Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White. “Specifically, this legislation bolsters the critical work of the Telehealth Network Grant Program and provides a needed boost to National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding that will aid in the continued implementation of the Precision Medicine Initiative. Moreover, the bill affirms Congress’ support of patient-matching technology that accurately identifies patients to their health information in order to lower costs and medical errors, and encourages better utilization of virtual and remote technologies in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program – all longtime priorities of Health IT Now and our broad coalition of member organizations.”
White added, “Finally, we believe the omnibus bill’s static funding for The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) provides the agency with an important opportunity to reassess its mission as we called for earlier this year. It is our hope this measure will spur ONC to operate with a laser focus on achieving true interoperability and coordinating with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on implementing important provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act to end information blocking once and for all. We look forward to working with lawmakers to ensure the health IT priorities reflected in this bill are implemented expeditiously and effectively.”
About Health IT Now: Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, patient outcomes, and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org.