Health IT leaders congregate

The number of policy changes on tap that relate to quality and health information technology are at an all-time high, both within the Bush administration and in Congress. The eHealth Initiative will host the second annual Health Information Technology Summit (www.hitsummit.com) Sept. 7- 9, 2005, in Washington, D.C. The summit will bring together national, regional and state stakeholders to discuss the current menu of emerging policy changes relevant to eHealth Initiative and its goals.

Health IT has been increasingly at the forefront of public and private sector efforts to improve health care safety, quality and efficiency. The federal government, Congress, some states and private sector leaders have responded with the introduction of a myriad of policies and strategies designed to improve the American health care system through IT.

The summit program is exceptional, mixing insightful keynote addresses by health care leaders in America and worldwide with specialized breakout learning tracks. These tracks provide a more intimate opportunity to gain knowledge from today’s foremost thought leaders, pioneers and on-the-ground experts in government, the private sector and communities nationwide.

Keynote summit speakers include:

* Michael Leavitt, Department of Health and Human Services secretary and former governor of Utah

* David Brailer, national coordinator for Health IT at DHHS

* Sen. Tom Carper, (D-Del.) and former governor of Delaware

* Carolyn M. Clancy, director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

* Richard Granger, National Health Service director general of IT, United Kingdom

* Mark McClellan, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

* Gov. Mark Warner, R-Va.

* Panel of congressional staffers: Katy Barr for Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; Diana Birkett for Senate Finance Committee/Minority; Dan Elling, for Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.); Dave Fisher for Senate Budget Committee; Lisa Layman for Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.); Joelle Oishi for Senate Finance Committee/Majority; Joel White for subcommittee on Health Ways and Means Committee

These presentations will give insight into the rapidly changing health care and IT landscape. We are pleased to have Bush administration leaders and other leaders improving health and health care through health IT. Granger will complement addresses by U.S. public-sector leaders, with his perspective on England’s National Programme for IT, which is bringing modern computer systems into the NHS to improve patient care and services. And the all-star panel of leading congressional staff will highlight the significant leadership role both the House and Senate are playing to advance bipartisan support and concrete proposals around the use of health IT to improve health care.

Specialized summit track topics include:

* Financial Incentives, Pay for Performance and “Value-Based Purchasing”: Intersection with health IT

* Emerging State Policies Related to HEALTH IT: State Role as Purchaser, Payer, Regulator and Convener

* Rapidly Emerging Medicare and Medicaid Policies and Inclusion of Critical health IT Components

* Health Information Sharing: Legal and Policy Issues

* Special Shared Session with the HIPAA Summit: Implementation of the National Provider Identifier

The keynote and how-to sessions collectively merge insights on emerging policy from public and private sector leaders, provide practical "how-to" dialogue and offer the opportunity to hear about the evolution to better patient care by those who are actually doing it.

More information about the eHealth Initiative-sponsored Second Annual Health IT Summit, including a complete agenda and list of speakers, is available at www.hitsummit.com. For those unable to join us, we will be making conference presentations available on the summit Web site after the event to further fulfill eHealth Initiative’s role as a central, valuable resource about how health care can be improved through health IT and to provide cutting-edge information about the changes taking place in this space.

In addition to changes taking place in this space, we want to congratulate our partner, Government Health IT, which is launching its bimonthly magazine this month. It is the only magazine in the health care community focused specifically on the role of government agencies in shaping the health IT agenda for both the public and private sectors, and it is a truly valued resource.

We look forward to seeing you next month.

Janet M. Marchibroda, chief executive officer of the eHealth Initiative and Foundation

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