Schweikert award

Health IT Now – a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers and payers supporting the use of data and health information technology to improve healthcare – presented its annual Health IT Pioneer award to Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) for his leadership as co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and his work as the author of the Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act of 2018. Schweikert is a Fountain Hills resident.

Provisions of Rep. Schweikert’s legislation were rolled into the sweeping opioid measure signed into law by President Trump earlier this year, known as the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. His policy solution was a top legislative priority of Health IT Now’s Opioid Safety Alliance and would facilitate the use of electronic prior authorization (ePA) technology in Medicare Part D, thereby streamlining PA claims and ensuring legitimate beneficiary access to prescribed medications while preventing misuse of medication under a pending PA, such as many opioids.

The Health IT Pioneer award is the coalition’s highest honor and recognizes legislators who have aggressively pushed for technology-enabled solutions to spur improvements in healthcare.

HITN Executive Director Joel White released the following statement congratulating Congressman Schweikert:

“Rep. Schweikert knows that using technology in federal programs like Medicare will streamline care delivery, improve efficiency, and place the program on stronger financial footing for future generations. That’s why his bill would bring electronic prior authorization technology – already widely used by private insurers, doctors, and pharmacies – into the Medicare space,” White said. “This will reduce rejections at the pharmacy counter and allow clinicians to spend less time resolving coverage issues and more time on patient care.

“We applaud Rep. Schweikert for getting this critical legislation signed into law as part of this year’s comprehensive opioid package and are hopeful the 116th Congress will take further steps to adopt private sector strategies into public health programs to make them work more seamlessly.

“Rep. Schweikert is also a co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. In this role, he is at the forefront of innovations in health IT. He has a keen understanding of how, applied correctly, blockchain-based technology could disrupt our healthcare system by better managing patient data, securing the opioid supply chain, and ultimately improving healthcare outcome.

“Health IT Now thanks Rep. Schweikert for his bold leadership on technology-enabled solutions and is proud to bestow him with this well-deserved honor.”