Schwarzenegger Touts Health IT as Part of Health Care Overhaul
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Wednesday at the Telehealth and Visiting Specialist Center in Eureka promoted the use of telemedicine to expand access to quality medical care, the Eureka Reporter reports.
"Bringing this kind of technology to all corners of our state is a very important part of our health care reform," Schwarzenegger said (Harrison, Eureka Reporter, 4/19).
Herrmann Spetzler, CEO of Open Door Community Health Centers, said that in addition to increasing rural patients' access to medical care, telehealth technology could be useful in disaster situations (Wilkinson, Eureka Times-Standard, 4/19).
Jana Katz Bell, assistant dean of the UC-Davis School of Medicine, said the governor has offered "unprecedented" support for telemedicine technology, which could cut costs and increase access.
Schwarzenegger in the past year has signed executive orders to:
- Develop a statewide broadband policy;
- Accelerate health IT adoption; and
- Establish a goal of complete health information exchange between consumers, insurers, providers, researchers and government agencies within the decade.
The governor also allocated $200 million in state infrastructure bond funds to build telehealth technology centers at all five UC medical schools. In addition, he signed legislation to reimburse physicians who provide remote care (Eureka Reporter, 4/19).
Video and a transcript of the governor's remarks are available on his Web site. 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.