The federal government should promote the development and deployment of large-scale chronic disease registries that would, with major safeguards for confidentiality, allow health care providers to better manage patients across time and among institutions, as well as assess progress in clinical outcomes and total costs. Requiring electronic medical records could facilitate this change.
The new administration will need to develop a system to address privacy concerns over collecting these statistics. Private plans also object to data collection because of the administrative costs associated with managing it while ensuring confidentiality. The White House and Congress could use positive or negative incentives to obtain these data from private insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health care programs.
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