Future Direction of Health Care

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There are many challenges that are defining the future strategic direction of health care such as information technology advancements, access to health care, maintaining a skilled workforce, proposed health care reform and legislation, and rising costs. I will look at these challenges and how an organization may adapt its direction and strategies in accordance with these challenges. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 marks a new era in American health care. Yet in many ways, this era began more than a year earlier, with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and its Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) provisions. Although HITECH may be viewed narrowly as legislation to stimulate the adoption of health information technology (IT), it is better understood as an essential foundation for our broader efforts to restructure health care delivery. (Buntin, 2010) The rapid "wiring" of American health care that will take place under HITECH will do more than simply digitize paper-based work. It will facilitate new means of improving the quality of care, efficiency, and patient-centeredness of care. At the heart of our health reform efforts is the use of data to reform payment structures and procedures, manage clinical quality, improve efficiency, and drive improvements in public health. Our nation's health IT infrastructure will enable and power these critical efforts—making possible the types of fundamental changes in access and health care delivery proposed in the new health reform law. (Buntin, 2010) There are incentive payments for health care organizations that can demonstrate use of EHRs in an effective and secure manner. In order to qualify for the incentive payments, physicians and hospitals must display proof of "meaningful" use of technology while implementing a "qualified" EHR system. "Meaningful" use of technology is demonstrated by the following: * Certified EHR technology-Use of a certified...
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