June 29,2005

Senators Work Together on Health Care Quality, IT Legislation

Bi-partisan bills in seek to modernize health care system

Event:  News conference to announce two bi-partisan bills to be considered by the SenateCommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Committee on Finance


Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Sen. Max Baucus of Montana
Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming
Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts

Date: Thursday, June 30, 2005
Time: 1:30 pm (ET)
Location: S-325, Senate Radio-TV Gallery

Description: On Thursday, these four senators will introduce two bills, the Medicare Value Purchasing Act (MVP) and the Health Information Technology and QualityImprovement Act (HITQI). The MVP Act falls within the jurisdiction of theCommittee on Finance, where Grassley is the chairman and Baucus is the rankingmember. The HITQI Act falls within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Health,Education, Labor and Pensions, where Enzi is the chairman and Kennedy is theranking member.

The Health Information Technology Quality and Improvement Act would givehealth care providers the assistance they need to invest in lifesaving healthinformation technology (IT). The two proposals work together to create qualitypayments under Medicare for physicians and practitioners, hospitals, health plans,skilled nursing facilities, home health, and end stage renal disease facilities, andestablishing an information technology infrastructure that enhances health carequality.

The savings from better IT use are enormous. The federal government's estimateis that the nation would save $140 billion each year from proper IT use. Thesesavings from health IT could cut the cost of a family's insurance policy by over$700. Despite the benefits of investment in health IT, utilization is low.

The MVP Act would implement recommendations from the Institute of Medicineand the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to establish financial incentivesthat promote quality care and better value in the Medicare payment system.


Jill Kozeny, Grassley, 202/224-1308
Wendy Carey, Baucus, 202/224-5315
Craig Orfield, Enzi, 202/224-6770
Melissa Wagoner, 202/224-2633