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AARP: Health IT Regulations Will Ensure Investment in Technology Pays Off for Patients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2010

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Media Relations
202-434-2560

AARP: Health IT Regulations Will Ensure Investment in Technology Pays Off for Patients

WASHINGTON—AARP released a statement today following the release by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of final regulations that implement the health information technology (IT) provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Among other goals, the regulations announced today determine how doctors and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid payment incentives for demonstrating effective use of health IT.  AARP has called on CMS to ensure these incentives encourage improvements in quality and efficiency, not simply the purchase of technology.  The statement from AARP Executive Vice President John Rother follows:

“Patients deserve high quality health care that is safe and efficient.  Bringing the country’s health care system into the 21st century with electronic medical records is a critical step toward providing every American with the best care possible.  But simply buying new technology is not the solution.  Health IT must be used in ways that improve care and efficiency.

“By giving doctors and hospitals financial incentives to use technology to improve quality and by giving patients easy access to their personal health information, the final ‘meaningful use’ regulations will significantly advance the necessary transformation to a system in which everyone has a certified electronic medical record.

“AARP commends CMS for including requirements for hospitals to record a patient’s advance directive electronically, for physicians to provide patient-specific education materials electronically, and for patients to receive clinical summaries of their health care visits.  These are good examples of how health IT can be used to ensure that patient preferences are honored and to provide people with information to help them engage in and manage their own care.”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA su Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org.  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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