Ryan Introduces Bill to Help Lower Health Care Costs and Reduce Medical Errors
In an effort to bring down health care costs, reduce medical errors, and give every individual a chance to own his or her electronic medical record, First District Congressman Paul Ryan today introduced legislation in the House that would enable the creation of independent health record banks to maintain electronic health records for those who choose to participate. U.S. Senator Sam Brownback has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
This legislation - the Independent Health Record Bank Act - would facilitate the creation of a nationwide health information network so that patients' up-to-date, complete medical information can easily travel with them to whatever doctor or hospital they visit, improving treatment and reducing mistakes in the process. Moving from paper-based records to electronic medical records will also help reduce excess paperwork, lower administrative costs, and streamline the reporting of public information to further reduce the cost of health care. A RAND study released last year found that the use of electronic medical records and establishment of a nationwide health information network could save $152 billion a year.
"Accessing your health records should be as simple as checking your bank records using your ATM card," Ryan said. "There is no reason that medical information can't be managed in a similar way, with proper safeguards to protect patient confidentiality. The current cumbersome, largely paper-based system adds to the high cost of health care and sometimes can lead to errors that cost lives. We can lower costs and improve the quality of care for patients by making the transition to a nationwide system of secure electronic health records."
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