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Chopra on Health IT: Now ‘is the Best Time to be an Entrepreneur’

U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra, Photo: ostp.gov

At a conference this week, federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra hailed the new health IT age, saying “today is the best time to be a healthcare entrepreneur in America.”

Speaking before a sizable crowd at the Health Information Management Systems Society conference, who received the nation’s CTO with “hoots and hollers of approval,” as Healthcare IT News reported, Chopra laid out the government’s vision for promoting research and development.

Recent efforts, such as the $3 billion national wireless initiative also have health IT components, he explained. For example, $100 million has been set aside to use for health IT applications.

Overall, the government’s role is that of a catalyst, he said, by fostering a hospitable climate for the market to drive healthcare improvements through technology, Healthcare IT News reported.

As for the future of health IT, Chopra said, the end result would be increased simplicity for the consumer.

To cut back on the complexity of healthcare billing, he described a possible system akin to “Open Table,” the online restaurant reservation system.

“One of the key questions we have today is how the experience is going to feel,” he said, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “You look at all the complexity there is today with patient billing.” With innovative health IT applications, “all that will go away,” he added.

Meanwhile, a survey of hospital IT managers found that the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health records incentives program and the HITECH Act have been influential in health companies’ decisions to go digital.

According to a report in InformationWeek, the survey found that 68 percent of respondents indicated they would continue to make health IT investments to qualify for the incentives.

Many health organizations expect healthy rewards from their investments, InformationWeek reported, as well as an uptick in their health IT budgets.

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