03/19/2009

The Affect of the Obama Stimulus Plan on Geriatric Healthcare

Change is coming – in the form of the Stimulus Package as well as President Obama’s healthcare reform plan – actually change is clearly upon us.

Where the Billions are Headed for Healthcare (in millions)
Renovation and health IT purchases for community health centers $2,000
Training of nurses, primary care physicians, dentists to practice in underserved communities in the National Health Service Corps $500
National Institutes of Health biomedical research $9,500
National Institutes of Health buildings and facilities repairs and renovations $500
Funding for research comparing effectiveness of treatments funded by Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP $1,100
Grants to states for childcare services for low-income working parents $2,000
"Head Start" programs for low-income preschoolers $1,000
"Early Head Start" programs for low-income infants $1,100
Grants for community employment, food, housing and healthcare projects $1,000
Grants to faith-based and community organizations $50
Grants for elderly nutrition services including Meals on Wheels $100
Extra money for Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology $2,000
Funding for community preventative health campaigns, vaccination programs, healthcare-associated infection reduction strategies >$1,000
Funding to improve IT security at the Department of Health and Human Services $50
Oversight of Department of Health and Human Services spending $17
Incentive payments to hospitals and physicians who computerize medical-records systems $17,559
Federal aid to states for Medicaid spending $90,044
   

One big area of investment is in Electronic Health Reports (EHR), $20B has been set aside for the purpose of making all health records electronic. To accomplish this the Secretary of Health and Human Services has been tasked with investing in the infrastructure necessary to allow for and promote the electronic exchange and use of health information for each individual in the United States consistent with the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Such investment can be used for the acquisition of hardware or software provided the products are certified to permit the full and accurate electronic exchange and use of health information in a medical record, including standards for security, privacy, and quality improvement functions adopted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The estimate of this investment is that it will contribute in the form of bonuses $11M to hospitals and between $44K and $64K per physician of course there are significant costs associated with these bonuses.

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