February 29, 2008

Head of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services visits the School of Medicine

Kerry Weems demonstrates the electronic health records project to faculty and students

Kerry Weems, the acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, presented the federal agency's newest initiative in electronic health records to the students and faculty of the School of Medicine on Wednesday, February 20th.

A career government employee, Weems shared his early experiences at Health and Human Services, where an ashtray on each desk was the norm. Today, much of the organization's efforts are focused on preventative medicine, including smoking cessation.

The School of Medicine was one stop in the Cleveland kick-off for the agency's announcement of a new demonstration project providing Medicare incentive payments to physicians for the use of certified electronic health records (EHRs) to improve patient care. The goal of the demonstration is to foster the implementation and adoption of EHRs and health information technology more broadly as effective vehicles improve the quality of care provided and transform the way medicine is practiced and delivered. In mid-June, the program's participating communities will be announced.

Cleveland is one of five cities included in the launch of this national project. Weems announced the initiative earlier in the day at MetroHealth Medical Systems, a School of Medicine affiliate. A major presence in the healthcare and medical education, Cleveland is an ideal community for the roll-out. Case Western Reserve students are well versed in the issues facing our country's medical system and are anxious and excited to be the future leaders of the profession. Medical students are aware changes need to be made to the healthcare system and are willing to embrace changes to provide best care possible to patients.

Weems opened the presentation to questions from students who inquired about the agency's plans for preventative medicine; the attention and funding allotted to patients' last two weeks of life; the proposed Medicare cuts; and compliance tracking of Medicare and Medicaid patients. Learn more about the Electronic Health Records Demonstration Project.

For more information contact Jessica E. Studeny, 216.368.4692.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, February 29, 2008 02:18 PM | News Topics: Events, HeadlinesMain, Provost Initiatives, School of Medicine, Students

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