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Chapter 6: New Medicine: Law Attacks Err... > Fostering Better Coordination of Car...

Fostering Better Coordination of Care, Communication

The new health care law encourages the development of better ways to coordinate care between the many types of medical providers. Studies have shown that this can save money by eliminating duplication of services and hospital readmissions. Good coordination of care also improves patient satisfaction.

Basically, good coordination of care requires effective communications, and reimbursement systems that reward providers for working together, instead of paying them by procedure, thus encouraging medical quantity over quality.

One key to improving communications between health care providers is the electronic medical record. In 2009, Congress and the Obama Administration passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH. This law provides incentives through Medicare and Medicaid to clinicians and hospitals for using electronic medical records. It is providing $27 billion over ten years to jumpstart the nation's electronic medical records system. The law ties incentives to advances in health care processes and outcomes.


  

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