Va. panel supports health IT loans, eased scope-of-practice limits

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 10, 2011

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Virginia is being called on to help physicians secure loans to purchase health information technology, change scope-of-practice laws to allow health professionals to practice "to the evidence-based limit of their training," and create a health insurance exchange as allowed under the national health reform law.

These are a few of the 28 recommendations from the Virginia Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council issued Dec. 21, 2010. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed the panel of 24 health care, civic and business leaders to recommend ways the state could improve the quality and efficiency of care and to guide local implementation of health reform.

The council said the state should consider more cost-sharing requirements for Medicaid enrollees. It said Virginia should support study of the effectiveness of health care teams that could include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, mental health professionals, case managers and others.

The council recommended that it continue to advise the secretary and governor and hold quarterly meetings through 2011. The council report is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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