In response to continually rising health care costs, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) provision was created to promote the meaningful use of health care information technology through numerous incentive programs for health care providers. By enhancing data collection, streamlining electronic medical records, and increasing transparency, it is believed that significant cost savings can be realized as well as other positive outcomes. What are some of the tradeoffs involved in this type of policy?

To prepare:

 

  • Reflect on the challenges of containing health care costs in the U.S. presented in the Learning Resources and discussed by Dr. Kominski and Dr. Zelman in the media.
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  • Consider how information technology may be used to address health care issues related to cost.
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  • Examine the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) provision and its goals.

 

Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

 

  • Briefly summarize a significant challenge to containing health care costs.
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  • How do policy makers envision technology could be utilized to address this challenge (above)? Provide at least one example to support your response.
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  • Do you agree or disagree with the policy makers? Describe why you agree or disagree and include one or more insights from this analysis that relate to the question of how information technology could, or could not, help contain costs while supporting health care reform initiatives.

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