Kohl pushes for IT funding for long-term care in economic stimulus package

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The economic stimulus package legislation in the Senate now includes information technology funding for long-term care facilities and nursing homes. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) successfully amended the bill on Tuesday. 

Original language of the Senate version of the stimulus package did not include nursing facilities, long-term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities or home health entities in its definition of "health care provider," according to Kohl's office. Calling all long-term care facilities an important part of the U.S. healthcare system, Kohl said it was crucial they be provided funding for the adoption of healthcare information technology.

Other healthcare related provisions in the Senate stimulus package that received Senator Kohl's attention include loans to upgrade existing healthcare IT systems, increased privacy protection for personal health records and the transfer of funds to the Administration on Aging's disease prevention and wellness programs. Senate debate on the bill is expected to last through the week. The House plans to vote on the stimulus package today.
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