Mental Health Notes Etc., Jan 30th 2009
On Wednesday, Jan. 30th, the House passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009[ARRA or HR 598]. Te vote was mainly along party lines with eleven Democrats joining all the Republicans to vote against; The vote was 244 to 188. The bill has been sent to the Senate with a vote expected next week.
SCHIP [State Children’s Health Insurance Plan or HR2 ] continued to be debated on the Senate floor. SCHIP passed quickly in the House and was then sent to the Senate.
Medicare began to pay physicians an incentive for using electronic prescribing or e-prescribing this month. The benefits of e-prescribing include decreases in complications due to medication interactions or adverse medication reactions. Possible problems with e-prescribing have deterred neither the federal government from encouraging its use nor private insurance companies from providing bonuses to physicians that use e-prescribing according to the Wall Street Journal. Between the private and public incentives along with the $50 billion President Obama wants to invest over the next five years in health technology, e-prescribing looks like an essential component of the healthcare system of the future.