On August 22, 2006, President Bush signed an Executive Order entitled "Promoting Quality and Efficient Health Care in Federal Government Administered or Sponsored Health Care Programs". Effective January 1, 2007, the primary purpose of the Order is to ensure health care programs administered or sponsored by the federal government (including FEHBP, Medicare, Indian Health Services, TRICARE and Department of Veteran Affairs programs) promote quality and efficient delivery of health care through the use of health information technology (HIT), transparency regarding health care quality and price, and better incentives for program beneficiaries, enrollees and providers.
Federal agencies are directed to utilize, where available, HIT systems and products that meet recognized interoperability standards for the direct exchange of health information between agencies and with non-federal entities. Contracts with health care providers, health plans or health insurance issuers must also state that they will use, where available, such HIT systems. The Order also requires transparency regarding health care quality measurements and pricing information, for beneficiaries, enrollees and providers. The full text of the Order can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/08/20060822-2.html.