Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) announced legislation that will improve health care while reducing costs.  

The Medicare and Medicaid Access Project through Information Technology will create a demonstration project using health information technology to manage chronic disease for Medicare and Medicaid patients.  

“To provide quality, affordable healthcare we must control costs and provide a method for chronic disease patients and doctors to more effectively coordinate care and manage medical information,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “Approximately 50% of individuals with chronic conditions do not follow their prescribed treatments to manage their disease, accounting for nearly 75 percent of our health care costs. By utilizing new technologies – as this project does – we can increase the efficiency of our healthcare system, improve the quality of care for Medicare and Medicaid patients and decrease costs to states and the federal government.”

The legislation calls for at least four demonstration projects that will give doctors, and caregivers tools to improve management of chronic disease patients’ medical records and provide patients the ability to track their own health information.  Using the virtual case management tool, doctors and caregivers will have access to complete information about the patient’s current treatment and health status.  Evaluations will follow the two-year demonstrations to determine how much money the project saved.

“There is no question we need to lower health care costs in our country, and this project can do so without jeopardizing patient care,” Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said.  “Chronic disease management is one of the major cost drivers for Medicare and Medicaid, forcing states and the federal government to cut services and reimbursements for doctors.  By using technology to manage those diseases, we can improve health care for patients and lower costs.”