Healthwise Launches Center to Promote ‘Information Therapy’ in Health Care
Healthwise, a not-for-profit provider of health care information, today announced the creation of a Washington, D.C.-based institute to promote the use of "information therapy" by health care providers. According to Healthwise, information therapy calls for providers to "prescribe" and deliver pertinent information to patients, "just as medicine is prescribed." The new Center for Information Therapy will support information therapy programs and encourage payers and policy makers to reimburse providers for the service. Healthwise says that verbal delivery of health information to patients is "convenient" but that much of the information may be forgotten or misunderstood, preventing patients from incorporating the data into health care decisions. Under the information therapy model, "doctor-approved" information would be electronically delivered to patients at appropriate points in the continuum of care -- for example, prior to or following a physician visit, diagnostic test or surgery. Healthwise predicts that by engaging patients more effectively in their own care, information therapy will improve medical decision-making, reducing errors and increasing the quality and efficiency of care. Furthermore, CIT maintains that information therapy should be considered a reimbursable medical service because it is "evidence-based, documented, and directed to a diagnosed patient condition." Healthwise operates a consumer health information database called Knowledgebase that providers can use to deliver information therapy. Information is indexed to medical keywords and diagnosis codes so that clinicians can retrieve relevant information and send it to patients as needed (Healthwise release, 1/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.