Providers could be subject to new cost measurement guidelines

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All providers of Medicare services and other federally financed healthcare soon may have to agree to basic cost measurement tools followed by quality of care measurements.

Department of Health & Human Services officials are drafting an executive order for President Bush aimed at improving the cost and quality of care. The ultimate purpose is to reduce the nation's healthcare costs, according to HHS Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, who discussed the planned executive order at a National Governors Association meeting in Charleston, SC.

The proposal also would require that all providers covered under government health plans be willing to use information technology that meets federally approved standards for efficacy and interoperability. Leavitt requested that similar mandates apply to state-funded health care plans, including Medicaid. Bush is expected to issue the order this fall, Leavitt said.
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