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March 6, 1996

Experts Explore Emerging Information Technologies' Effects on Medicine

JAMA. 1996;275(9):669-670. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530330013003

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MOST PEOPLE probably don't realize it, but Congress has just passed the most significant health care system reform legislation since the Medicare programs and Medicaid were adopted back in the 1960s, says former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD.

Speaking at a University of Vermontsponsored conference on emerging information technologies in Burlington, Koop said that the telecommunications bill just signed into law is likely to do more to change the US health care system than has anything within the last generation.

"In the past few years, as I have spoken around the nation about health care reform and telecommunication," said the former surgeon general, who is now director of the C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH, "I have implied that health care reform is going to force us to change the way we exchange information in the health care system. But now we are going to