Farzad Mostashari and I wrote a short white paper urging a more direct link between Federal HIT incentive funds and regional HIT extension centers (Farzad deserves the lion's share of credit for taking this idea and running with it). Pretty straight-forward idea, really -- rather than just handing out $18 billion in cash to providers, funnel those funds through an infrastructure that will protect the government's investment by ensuring that adoption happens efficiently, effectively, and with public benefit in mind. You'd think this would be a no-brainer after our recent experience with the $350 billion bank give-away, but so far, the concept hasn't made it's way into the stimulus package.
The letter has gotten almost 60 signatures from individuals and groups across 26 states, including some prominent national organizations such as the eHealth Initiative, NCQA, National Partnership for Women & Families, and Pacific Business Group on Health. It's also gotten a fair amount of attention. It was featured on iHealthBeat, John Halamka wrote about it in his blog, and it was also picked up by the New York Times. Thanks to everyone who co-signed it......hopefully somebody up there is listening!