The advance of health IT and payment reform should be executed in close coordination, with each aiding the other. The quality metrics desired by Medicare to power payment reform should directly inform the definition of “meaningful use.” In turn, the data collected via the spread of “meaningfully used” health IT should help power the development and refinement of reformed payment models.
A strong public commitment to and progress toward payment reform should help cement the business case for health IT adoption and “meaningful use.” Congress can facilitate the coordination of Medicare payment reform and the HITECH program by formally recognizing the linkage between the two and asking for periodic reports on their integration and joint execution. The combination of the two programs is significantly more likely to help spur care delivery innovation and health improvement than either will separately.
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