Our February Health TechNet meeting focused on two important topics:
- First, the status of the National Health Information Network, an important and controversial subject.
- Second, one Medicare Advantage Plan's Pay for Quality Program.
The meeting featured the presentations of Ginny Wagner, Project Executive for the NHIN project at IBM, as well as Dr. William Anderson, Physician Director for Quality for HealthSpring, Inc., a Medicare Advantage plan operating in six states. Ms. Wagner provided us with an overview on the current status and future of the National Health Information Network, considering that this effort to achieve nationwide electronic medical records has just received new funding from the Congress, but has also been criticized in trade articles as slow to materialize and ultimately unrealistic. Dr. Anderson provided us with an overview on his work with plan physicians to develop quality metrics, which, if followed, save significantly on patient hospitalization and can result in significant compensation increases for primary care physicians. The Pay for Quality program is a major initiative of this Congress, and Senators Baucus and Grassley have encouraged CMS to pursue it vigorously.
These presentations were followed by a thorough discussion, and other matters of interest to the Washington area technology community were also discussed.
Presentations of the speakers are attached.