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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Sen. Pres. Proposes Statewide eHealth System and Ban on Drug Industry Gifts

Sen. Pres. Proposes Statewide eHealth System and Ban on Drug Industry Gifts

March 3, 2008

From State House News -- we'll have more comments once we've reviewed the proposal. Statewide electronic health records and banning gifts from pharmaceutical companies -- not a bad start at all!

Senate President Therese Murray wants to commit $25 million per year until 2015 to implement an electronic medical records system and ban gifts from pharmaceutical companies physicians, under a plan she unveiled this morning at the UMass Medical School. "There’s going to be a climate change," Murray said, "and there has to be a climate change, otherwise our health care reform will implode, just under the costs." Murray’s proposal would require physicians to show competency in e-records technology to a medical board and offer loan forgiveness for nurses and primary care physicians at the state medical school. Hospitals and insurance companies would have to hold public hearings on consumer costs, and insurance company rate increases above 7 percent would undergo public review. As Murray unveiled her proposal in Worcester, the Senate, meeting back in Boston, referred it to the Health Care Financing Committee for review. Health Care Financing Committee co-chair Sen. Richard Moore said a hearing on the bill had been scheduled for March 12. More than a dozen members of the Senate, including three Republicans, attended Murray’s speech, prompting Moore, when he took the podium, to deliver a faux rapid-gavel voice vote on engrossment of the bill, joking, “That’s how fast we’re going to move on this thing.”