Inciting a Computer Revolution in Health Care: Weighing the Merits of the Health Information Technology Act

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  • Product Description

    Abstract:
    This case poses the question: given what was known at the time of its adoption, in February 2009, was the federal Health information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act good public policy? The HITECH Act, included in President Barack Obama's federal stimulus bill, was intended to introduce major incentives to encourage the spread of heath information technology throughout the U.S. health system. The case is ideal for a policy analysis class. The case assumes no special knowledge of the health care system or information technology, and provides students with several categories of background information: * The central criticisms of the US health system, and why health IT proponents thought health IT was an essential ingredient in solving these problems. * Evidence that use of health IT in the United States lagged behind (1) the health care systems of other industrialized nations and (2) the use of IT in other information-heavy US industries. * The reasons health care providers were not, on their own, investing in health IT at the level advocated by proponents. * Mixed evidence as to the advantages of health IT for US health care providers that had already adopted it. * The history of federal action (administrative and legislative) on health IT as of February 2009 and arguments, pro and con, for a more aggressive federal role. * A summary of the HITECH Act as proposed by the Obama Administration. The case equips students to stand in the shoes of Congressional decision-makers (or their advisers) in February 2009, and argue why they might either support or oppose this piece of legislation. The case may be used on its own. It may also be used as the first part of a two-case unit with HKS Case 1938.0, "B. Inciting a Computer Revolution in Health Care: Implementing the Health Information Technology Act."

    Learning Objective:
    This case poses the question: given what was known at the time of its adoption, in February 2009, was the federal Health information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act good public policy? The case is ideal for a policy analysis class. The case assumes no special knowledge of the health care system or information technology.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: April 04, 2011
    HKS Case Number: 1937.0
    Case Author: Pamela Varley
    Faculty Lead: Mark Moore and John D. Donahue
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 17
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: 2010-2015
    _pages: 16-25
    _geography: US & Canada
  • Warranty Information

    /review/1937.0.EducatorCopy.pdf

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