CMS to promote IT if Congressional deadlock continues

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The government plans to step in to help develop a national health information technology infrastructure in case Congress fails to pass IT legislation this year.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will expand current IT demonstration projects if the Congressional stalemate continues, said Leslie Norwalk, acting CMS administrator. It also will ask its quality improvement organizations to increase their focus on IT efforts.

Congress failed to reconcile IT bills prior to recessing for the midterm election recess. One point of dispute between the House and Senate on the legislation is anti-kickback laws. Lawmakers have also disagreed on funding, privacy and interoperability issues.