Doctors Trying to Spur Health IT Talk by Clinton, Trump


Several health systems want the major party presidential candidates to talk more about promoting the use of health information technologies and value-based care during in their campaigns.

The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), whose membership includes Geisinger Health and the Cleveland Clinic, Aug. 30 released a primer detailing topics it wants politicians to focus on during this election cycle, such as payment system reform, use of health IT tools and improving quality measurement.

The groups want presidential and congressional candidates to take interest in these topics during this fall's election and push for reforms in 2017.

Neither Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton nor Republican Donald Trump has spent much time discussing these topics during their speeches or in their official platforms, the head of CAPP told me. Insurance coverage and drug prices have dominated the health-care focus during campaigning, he said.

“Both candidates have commented on the exchanges and the price of drugs, but there hasn't been a discussion about the big changes needed in health care,” said Robert Pearl, chairman of CAPP and executive director of the Permanente Medical Group.

Pearl is correct that neither Clinton nor Trump has mentioned health IT or payment reform much in their campaign speeches or official policy platforms, Leslie Krigstein, vice president of congressional affairs for the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, told me recently.

Clinton's plan to overhaul mental health services, released Aug. 29, promised to adjust Medicare and Medicaid payment systems to allow for reimbursement of telepsychiatry and other telehealth services delivered through primary care and hospital settings. Her health platform also promised to expand reimbursement generally for telehealth services under Medicare by making more providers in rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers eligible to receive Medicare payments for delivering their services remotely.

Trump's plan for reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs called for allowing doctors to use telehealth tools to better serve veterans.

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