Personalized Medicine Coalition Applauds Brookings Institution Paper Highlighting Critical Needs in Health Information Technology Adoption
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC (February 2, 2011) – The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), recognizing the vital importance of health information technology (HIT) as an enabler and accelerator for the adoption and development of personalized medicine, commends the Brookings Institution for calling attention to the need for federal investment in HIT to facilitate the connectivity, integration, and data analysis necessary to help researchers understand what types of therapies will work for what types of people and to spur innovation in personalized medicine.
“PMC has recognized that current policies defining investment of federal funds into HIT have insufficiently considered how they can and should assist the advancement of personalized medicine. As a result, the nation may lose an opportunity to transform health care,” said Edward Abrahams, President of the Personalized Medicine Coalition. “The Brookings paper should improve policymakers’ understanding of the critical intersection between HIT and personalized medicine.”
The paper, Enabling Personalized Medicine through Health Information Technology, written by Darrell West, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Technology Innovation and released at a Brookings Institution seminar Friday, outlines eight recommendations of public policy actions that can help ensure that HIT facilitates innovation and clinical adoption of personalized medicine technologies.
“It is clear that our health information technology system requires better interoperability, improved data sharing, more balanced privacy controls, rapid learning feedback models, predictive modeling for physician practices and updates to the reimbursement framework,” said Darrell West. “Once these changes are put into place, the United States will be in a much stronger position to gain the benefits of personalized medicine for patients, caregivers and the health system as a whole.”
Congress allocated approximately $40 billion to transform the health care system and create jobs through HIT. But to date, guidelines to access the government’s HIT funding have not required that technologies facilitate the integration of personalized medicine information such as genetic sequences let alone create new opportunities for personalized medicine innovation.
“As policymakers focus on improving health care quality, while lowering costs, and creating jobs to jumpstart the American economy, they need to ensure that the HIT framework facilitates the integration of genomics into health care which can simultaneously accomplish these goals,” said Donald Rucker, M.D., Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Siemens Medical Solutions USA and the chairman of the PMC’s HIT task force. “Federal dollars should ensure that HIT supports new care paradigms and does not simply automate yesterday’s one-size-fits-all approach to health care.”
The paper also recommended substantial updates to the reimbursement and coding systems to permit better analysis of personalized medicine diagnostic tests. The Personalized Medicine Coalition's issue brief The Adverse Impact of the US Reimbursement System on the Development and Adoption of Personalized Medicine Diagnostics (available here) released last year reached the same conclusion.
“We should develop the reimbursement coding schema [for personalized medicine technologies],” said David Brailer, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of Health Evolution Partners and the former National Health Information Technology Coordinator during a keynote address at the seminar. “[The lack of a reimbursement coding framework] has had a more adverse effect than any other aspect on the development of these technologies.”
The Brookings Institution’s paper is available for download at http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2011/0128_personalized_medicine_west.aspx. A transcript and audio recording of the release event featuring Dr. Brailer, and a panel discussion including Paul Billings, M.D., Ph.D., of Life Technologies Corp., Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School’s Center for Biomedical Informatics, Emad Rizk, M.D., of McKesson Health Solutions, Inc., and Donald Rucker, M.D., of Siemens Medical Solutions USA is available for download at http://www.brookings.edu/events/2011/0128_personalized_medicine.aspx.
About the Personalized Medicine Coalition
The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), representing a broad spectrum of academic, industrial, patient, provider, and payer communities, seeks to advance the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts and products for the benefit of patients. For more information on the Personalized Medicine Coalition, please visit www.PersonalizedMedicineCoalition.org.