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AAFP Statement: AAFP Statement in Support of Rep. Kennedy’s (D-RI) Health IT Legislation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Rick Kellerman, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians
“On behalf of the 94,000 members of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), I thank Rep. Kennedy for introducing The Personalized Health Information Act.
“The AAFP strongly supports federal efforts to encourage collaborative management of medical problems using online personal health record tools, require standards for portability and interoperability, and include privacy protections for patients. We believe this legislation moves the U.S. toward those goals.
“While there is a growing consensus that health information technology will transform U.S. health care, there is disagreement about how best to make it happen. The AAFP believes the top priority should be to make it easy and inexpensive for primary care physicians to obtain electronic health records (EHRs). This will improve overall quality of care delivered to patients and increase efficiency.
“America’s family physicians are pleased The Personalized Health Information Act empowers patients to see physicians who use electronic health records. Given the economic realities of small practices, the bill’s incentives will help physicians use them in their practices.
“We appreciate the bill’s new provisions to make electronic health records interoperable so that physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals can access a patient’s complete health information in a network that can correctly and efficiently exchange data with all other types of health information technology systems.
“The AAFP believes a patient’s right to privacy is personal and fundamental. Patients should have a right of access to, and correction of, their medical records. The Personalized Health Information Act respects this right."
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
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