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Washington, D.C. – A senior official of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) testified today about the agency’s efforts in promoting and adopting the use of health information technology in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, and on the progress OPM has made in promoting health information technology to help achieve greater flexibility and consumer choice. With more than eight million participants, FEHB represents one of the largest health insurance programs in the United States.
Daniel A. Green, Deputy Associate Director of the Center for Employee and Family Support, testified today before the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce and Agency Organization – part of the House Committee on Government Reform.
“We strongly encourage carriers to take steps to expand and improve on their health information technology efforts…most are focusing their efforts on providing claims-based information through their web sites, linking disease management programs to health information technology initiatives, and providing e-Prescribing incentives,” said Green.
Green said OPM also was asking FEHB carriers to enhance consumer education efforts to make customers more aware of how health information technology can improve efficiency, make personal claims data available to enrollees, and expand their efforts to increase transparency by making pricing information easily accessible.
Green said the OPM website would be upgraded to allow prospective enrollees to learn which plans offered the greatest health information technology capabilities so they could make more informed decisions on the right health plan for themselves and their families.
“From calculating the cost of drugs, to accessing vital health information, health information technology offers ready electronic access to enrollees so they can make the right decisions regarding their health care,” said Green. “We are committed to not only expanding, but easing, the process by which access to health information can be obtained and understood by the consumer.”
Green also spoke briefly on the proposed Federal Family Health Information Technology Act of 2006 and the ways it could impact FEHB enrollees.
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.