Kennedy confident HIT bill will pass early in 2009

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D- RI), co-chairman of the 21st Century Health Care Caucus, on Wednesday said he is optimistic that legislation would be passed early next year that would enable providers to more easily adopt comprehensive electronic health records.

“I think all of us have waited a long time for an opportunity to finally see great progress take place on health information technology,” Kennedy said at a news conference on Capitol Hill.  “And everybody knows that this coming legislative session offers really the most promising opportunity for us to see that progress take place.”

There is little doubt among lawmakers and policy shapers in Washington that broad health reform initiatives will get heard in 2009, and each has jockeyed to get their pet causes in play.  Already President-elect Barack Obama has proven to be a champion of health IT, hinting strongly that provisions aimed at speeding adoption would be included in a mixed bag of programs meant to goose the economy.

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