CMS leader: Agency may bypass Congress if lawmakers don't act on IT measures

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may just use its regulatory powers to encourage greater use of health information technology if Congress doesn't adopt appropriate legislation, says CMS acting Administrator Leslie V. Norwalk.

Under her charge, Norwalk said the agency will continue to work hard to advance health information technology. She said she considers it key to improving the quality of healthcare service and to reducing costs. She made her remarks in a speech during the opening session of the annual World Healthcare Innovation and Technology Congress.

Norwalk also said she plans to use her remaining two years in office to implement IT policies favored by the Bush administration and her two immediate predecessors at CMS, Thomas A. Scully and Mark B. McClellan.