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More about Stimulus

by jingemi

I feel I can now give an opinion on the final version of the stimulus. First, will it create jobs right away? It will not. However, I never felt Health IT was stimulative in nature but rather an investment. It will yield jobs and better healthcare in the future.

However, the Health IT investment proves addresses alot of my concerns. It provides funding for education for Health IT workers to fill what is sure to become a skills gap. More importantly, it partners rather than smothers the private sector. It utilizes two committees to create standards and policies, much like the Pro(Tech)T Act rather than the Stark Act. So the private sector will have a voice in shaping policies.

Finally, there is a line that mentions the creation of data banks. Specifically, banks of patient data could be used (with consent of patients) for public health and other research. This aligns with many large employers such as Intel and Walmart have been attempting to do to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of healthcare. When used in this way, data banks could be the foundation of pay-for-perfomance funding of healthcare. Second, with patient consent, pharamceuticals could use data for clinical research purposes. Not only would this increase the pharmaceutical pipeline in the U.S. but also give patients better access to experimental drugs. Ironically, these databanks are similar to something that Sen. Brownback proposed several years ago.

So, the stimulus is great step for Health IT. However, I hope that some of the controversial items do not overshadow this achievement.

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