Manatt Health Professional Discusses Election's Impact on Health IT

Manatt Health Professional Discusses Election's Impact on Health IT

"What's Next After Obama's Re-Election?"
Government Technology

January 4, 2013 - Manatt's Jonah Frohlich, a managing director with Manatt Health Solutions, spoke to Government Technology about what President Obama's reelection means for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Government Technology reports that one of the impacts of President Obama's reelection is greater clarity about the future of several technology initiatives launched during his first term, such as healthcare technology infrastructure. Industry experts told the publication that the clearest outcome of the election will be additional momentum for the government's programs in support of the "meaningful use" of electronic health record (EHR) adoption and state-based health information exchange, as well as the health benefit exchange infrastructure to support the Affordable Care Act.

Frohlich thinks the reelection means two things for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. First, the office has more time to work on meaningful use incentives. Second, it may consider waivers to extend the state health information exchange program to give states more time to implement it, he said.

"I think they also need to consider how to better align infrastructure for the health reform programs. They are done in piecemeal fashion now," said Frohlich, who previously served as deputy secretary of health IT at the California Health and Human Services Agency. For instance, a demonstration project in 12 states is examining how best to treat patients eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. "They need to think how those should be supported from a technology standpoint, including EHRs, telehealth and remote monitoring," Frohlich said. "They should look at which policy levers they need to pull to make those coordinate better."

Frohlich also expects a stronger federal focus on identity management in 2013. "You have to have hand-offs between local, state and federal agencies and private insurers, where appropriate. That requires identity management so people don't fall through the cracks," he said.

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