ONC Pays Attention To The Health Reform IT Problem

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The national IT coordinator David Blumenthal, MD, at The Office of the National Coordinator for HealthONC Information Technology (ONC) has pointed to the problem of streamlining federal and state systems for enrolling people applying for health insurance benefits under the law which is considered one of the most exasperating problems on the health reform. Blumenthal asked members of the Standards Committee to start developing standards for the exchange of eligible data and electronically enroll these data. He said "Think of this in the same way that we are facilitating better healthcare through standards and interoperability, we have the opportunity to facilitate better coverage through standards and interoperability."

Congress and the administration want to facilitate the learning process for people to see if they are eligible for benefits under the law, also to learn the changes to Medicare and Medicaid calls for setting up 50 new state health insurance plan exchanges for people who lack coverage. Blumenthal explained "The point is to make it as easy to buy health insurance as it is to buy from Amazon,"

"The standards will make possible electronic matching against federal and state data, vital records, employment history, benefit enrollment systems and tax records for eligibility," said John Halamka, MD, committee co-chairman "The standards work would also encompass methods for patient identity matching, electronic documentation for verification of eligibility, re-use of eligibility and patient engagement in the eligibility process."

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