Midterm Election Results Could Have Implications for Health IT

November 5, 2014 in News

The results of the midterm elections could have an effect on future health IT policy, Politico‘s “Morning eHealth” reports.

Returning and incoming members of both the House and the newly Republican-led Senate will be in positions to advance health IT legislation.

Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White noted that several soon-to-be senators have health policy backgrounds and could be inclined to approve health IT legislation.

Meanwhile, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) — who introduced the Flex-IT Bill — and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) — chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — both have been re-elected.

White predicted that the new GOP-controlled Senate will push for reform of the meaningful use and increased interoperability.

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Smith of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives said the change in leadership “will enable a renewed focus on cross-sector issues including cybersecurity and over-regulation.”

Steven Stack — president-elect of the American Medical Association — said the most important issue facing the new House leadership is the meaningful use program. He said, “Right now the meaningful use program is in serious trouble. … We will continue to work with the new Congress next year to make the meaningful use program more meaningful” (Gold, “Morning eHealth,” Politico, 11/5).

According to mHealthNews, the election results could be positive for mobile health innovation and business development.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle — including Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) — have been proponents of mobile health and telehealth (Wicklund, mHealthNews, 11/5).

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