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HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt to Announce Major Award for Maryland, D.C.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 General News J E 4
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New Medicare Initiative Will Advance Use of Electronic Health Records, Improve Quality of Care



**ANNOUNCEMENT EMBARGOED UNTIL JUNE 10 AT 10 A.M.**



WHO: HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt

CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems



WHEN: Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Remarks, Presentation at 10 a.m.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY TO FOLLOW (APPROX. 10:45 A.M.)



WHERE: Anne Arundel Medical Center

Sajak Pavilion

2001 Medical Parkway

Annapolis, MD 21401



CONTACT: HHS Press Office

(202) 690-6343



BACKGROUND: HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt and CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems will meet with leaders of the Maryland and Washington, D.C. medical societies, as well other community and business leaders, providers, and health plans. The state and District together are being named one of 12 sites that will participate in a Medicare demonstration project that offers incentives to physicians for using electronic health records (EHR) to improve patient care.



Once the project is fully underway, as many as 1,200 small- and medium-sized primary care physician practices across the nation will receive Medicare incentive payments in exchange for adopting certified EHRs. This effort will help reduce errors and improve health outcomes for an estimated 3.6 million Americans.



The adoption of interoperable health information technology is one of the Secretary's four cornerstones of value-driven health care. The other cornerstones are:



For more information, visit www.hhs.gov/valuedriven or www.hhs.gov/healthit.



CONTACT: HHS Press Office, +1-202-690-6343



/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- June 9/

-- Measure and publish quality information so that consumers can make better-informed decisions about their health care providers and treatment options; -- Measure and publish price information about health care procedures; and -- Promote quality and efficiency of care by rewarding those who provide, pay for and consume high-quality, competitive-priced health care.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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