Establishing Regional Centers to Assist Providers to Become Meaningful Users of HIT | Markle | Advancing America's Future

Establishing Regional Centers to Assist Providers to Become Meaningful Users of HIT

Publication Date: June 11, 2009

The Markle Foundation’s Connecting for Health public-private collaborative has since 2002 brought together leading government, industry, and health care experts to accelerate the development of a health information-sharing environment to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Together with the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Center for Medical Consumers, Childbirth Connection, Microsoft Health Solutions Group, National Partnership for Women & Families, Mark Frisse, Vanderbilt Center for Better Health and J. Marc Overhage, Regenstrief Institute, we submitted these comments in response to HHS’ draft description of a program for establishing regional centers (Centers) to assist providers seeking to adopt and become meaningful users of health information technology.

Our comments recommend clarifying and further developing the program description to better meet this goal:
  1. Clearly define the scope of Center activities to support meaningful use and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) goals before grants are made.
  2. Centers should help providers use health IT to engage consumers and support their active health management.
  3. Broaden the definition of health IT to include health IT services and tools that support providers in achieving meaningful use.
  4. Tie funding to program goals, not minimum and maximum amounts per geographic area.
  5. Use flexible and outcome-oriented criteria to select organizations most likely to have a long-term impact.

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