Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2008
Sen. Jim Wilson explains SMRTNET program at the State Capitol Monday,
flanked by Rep. Mike Brown and Chief Principal Investigator for
SMRTNET Mark Jones.
Lawmakers Say Medical Data Network Would
Save Hundreds of Lives, Millions of Dollars
If only half of all Oklahoma health care providers would participate
in an existing electronic medical data sharing network, within five
years the state could save more than $145 million and avoid more
than 400 deaths. That’s according to Sen. Jim
Wilson and Rep. Mike Brown who are advocating greater participation
in the program. The network, called SMRTNET for “secure medical
records transfer network,” was created through federal grants.
“Medical errors are expensive, and they’re the eighth
leading cause of death in this country,” said Wilson, D-Tahlequah.
“We could eliminate many of those mistakes, improve care and
save tax dollars if more of our health care providers were taking
advantage of this data sharing network.”
Brown said greater participation in SMRTNET would result in significant
healthcare savings without adversely affecting patients.
“The overhead administrative cost of providing healthcare
in our state has risen to over 23 percent, but other attempts at
cutting costs have targeted eligibility, what procedures are covered
or reducing provider fees, all of which results in less access to
medical care for our citizens,” said Brown, D-Tahlequah. “By
utilizing the technology of SMRTNET, we can save millions of dollars
without reducing access to healthcare.”
The lawmakers said the secure shared medical data network would
result in savings through the reduction of duplicate medical orders
and lab tests, as well as savings from abuse and fraud.
“We have $114 million less to appropriate this year. We need
to take advantage of every tool at our disposal to find and eliminate
waste and save taxpayer dollars,” Wilson said. “This
system is already in place—we just need to encourage more
healthcare providers to participate. It’s a win-win program
for patients, for providers and for our taxpayers.”
For more information contact:
Senator Wilson's Office: (405) 521-5574