Intel exec: technology adoption would help drop healthcare costs

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Intel Chairman Craig R. Barrett recently urged employers to use purchasing power to improve the U.S. healthcare system. Barrett spoke at the Third Annual HIT Summit, co-sponsored by the eHealth Initiative and Bridges to Excellence in Washington, D.C. Barrett emphasized that employers are the biggest buyers of healthcare and thus should use that to influence how care is delivered, making it more affordable but also increasing quality. “The current healthcare system is economically unsustainable and negatively impacting our nation's ability to compete globally,” said Barrett, also a member of the U.S. Health and Human Services’ American Health Information Community. Rising costs, Barrett said, are taking a toll on the stability of corporations across the country. To bring down costs, broader adoption of technology should be undertaken, while different care delivery systems should be tried, he added. For its part, Wal-Mart has also indicated that it plans to take a leadership role in helping to drive down healthcare costs, that if not dealt with will have to be pushed on to customers.