The move to get Medicare health records into the electronic health records arena started back in May of 2008. It happened when the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services gave a directive to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Basically, the Secretary told them to make a plan, which he called a demonstration imitative to make raise the quality of health care Medicare recipients received. There was a reward system involved in this demand for the organizations that the CMS would get involved in developing this system of health information technology for CMS in twelve states.
The Secretaries idea was that using electronic health records would vastly change the methods for practicing and delivering medicine. Along with improving the care that Medicare recipients receive it would net a big monetary savings for the government. The point of the plan was to encourage doctors to adopt electronic health records as their means of record keeping.
The directive said to get different local organizations picked as partners in the community to implement the demonstration. The organizations for each of the twelve states in the project had to already be working to make use of electronic health records the norm. These organizations needed to be involved in dealing with the medical people in a given area before becoming part of this project and in particular in relationship with primary care physicians. This could be an association with professional medical associations.
Examples of the types of organizations that would qualify to be part of this project to expand the use of electronic health records are Better Quality Information to Improve Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Charted Value Exchange.
The job of these selected organizations was to organize a local area to get doctors cooperating in using electronic medical records. Around 2400 medical offices in the range of small to medium recruited into the project are the goal.
This is a test project to see how it would work and how-to proceed. A control group was assigned and the others were picked randomly. The places where the demonstration is conducted have two hundred medical offices participating. Four states were put in motion to begin with and in 2009 the other eight will be implemented.
It seems that if the demonstration project goes will in the eye of the powers that be then Medicare Services will be a large example of how using electronic health records improves a patient’s quality of health care and an example of the large savings to be had when that record keeping system is employed.
People that are concerned about the state of health care in the United States would like to hear more about how this demonstration is proceeding. It is important for Medicare beneficiaries, the taxpayer, and the medical community to know what actions will improve the overall health of the citizens of this country, including those on Medicare. Especially at time in our countries history where many people don’t have access to good healthcare and when the U.S. government has a huge deficit. The source of this information is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services where more details can be obtained.