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Medicaid Reform Committee Hears Push for Electronic Records, Telehealth

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A national leader in healthcare information technology urges Missouri lawmakers to understand technology is a key to Medicaid and general healthcare reform.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A national leader in healthcare information technology urges Missouri lawmakers to understand technology is a key to Medicaid and general healthcare reform.

The Cerner Corporation of Kansas City argues that physician access to critical patient information is a key to holding down costs in healthcare. And Cerner says electronic health data collection

Governmental Affairs Director Carrie Sherer says health data connectivity is behind the 41% growth in health information exchanges in the last five years.

She points to the Moore, Oklahoma tornado last May, which hit the city hospital. But because patient records were in a Cerner data center in Kansas City, their information was available to other hospitals and clinics when people sought treatment. "Healthcare as it is today cannot stay the same and technology has to be part of the conversation," she says.

Sherer acknowledges to a Senate committee studying Medicaid reform that privacy is a major issue. She says Cerner believes the records belong to the patient, not to a hospital or a clinic. She says her records are electronic, and only she determines who can see them.

Committee Chairman Gary Romine of Ste Genevieve says the situation might boil down to a choice-whether the healthcare system should bear the cost of requiring an expensive electronic healthcare system to be developed or to acknowledge a certain degree of fraud will exist in the system as-is and bear those costs.


(story contributed by Bob Priddy, Missourinet)

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