KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Biden: $1.2 Billion From Stimulus For Computerized Medical Records

"Vice President Joe Biden today announced $1.2 billion from federal stimulus dollars to allow hospitals to modernize record keeping systems," The Chicago Tribune reports. "'This ain't government control,' Biden told more than 50 people gathered before a panel discussion at Mt. Sinai Hospital on Chicago's West Side. 'We are trying to modernize. All of this sounds pretty fancy but it's about modernizing the system.'" The panel discussion on health reform was held at a non-profit "cash-strapped Chicago hospital" with 60 percent of the hospital's revenues coming from Medicaid.

"Unlike large health-care facilities with new buildings, hundreds of days' worth of cash on hand and access to hundreds of millions of dollars in capital because of their large pool of insured patients, Mt. Sinai is non-profit and operates with less than two days of cash in older buildings in need of capital improvements."

"The panel will include two key administration officials: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Dr. David Blumenthal, national coordinator for Health Information Technology at the Department of Health and Human Services" (Japsen, 8/20).

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