Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt announced yesterday that over 100 private sector employers, including the auto manufacturers, IBM, and Starbucks, and the Commonwealth of Virginia have endorsed the “cornerstone principles” of the President’s August 21 Executive Order as part of their health plan purchasing criteria:
- Standards for connecting health information technology, making it possible to share patient health information securely and seamlessly among health care providers.
- Quality of care reporting, so that health care providers as well as the public can learn how well each provider measures up in delivering care.
- Providing costs of health services in advance, so that when patients choose routine and elective care, they can make comparisons on the basis of both quality and how much of the total cost they will have to pay under their health plan, and
- Providing incentives for quality care at competitive prices, as in payments to providers based on the quality of their services, or insurance options that reward consumers for choosing on the basis of quality and cost.