Bush: Outlines Gov't role in improving healthcare IT

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At a speech last week given at the Cleveland Clinic, President Bush told members of the audience that digital health records would help reduce healthcare costs and also outlined proposals for future funding needed for projects that demonstrate the effectiveness of healthcare information technology (IT).
   
In his speech, Bush said that electronic medical records could cut medical costs by as much as 20 percent. He also said the fiscal 2006 budget submitted to Congress is seeking $125 million, and that the administration sent a letter to Congress requesting it restore $50 million to the 2005 budget for the office of the administration's national health information coordinator, David Brailer, MD, PhD.
   
Congress deleted the $50 million for Brailer's office in November.
   
According to Brailer, the $50 million this year will come from money already designated to the Department of Health and Human Services budget. That funding, in addition to the $125 million requested for 2006, will help fund new regional health organizations and existing organizations.
   
During his speech at the Cleveland Clinic, which is helping the government develop electronic record standards, Bush emphasized the importance of EMRs, expressed how healthcare IT can improve patient care and how technology will help patients become more involved in decision-making and save the American people money.
   
In April, President Bush called for electronic health records for most Americans within 10 years.