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Health Agencies Update
April 21, 1999

Battling the Millennium Bug . . .

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JAMA. 1999;281(15):1368. doi:10.1001/jama.281.15.1368-JHA90002-3-1

According to a recent US Senate report, many of the nation's physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, health care plans, and medical laboratories have not adequately prepared to deal with the Y2K "millennium bug." Nearly two thirds of hospitals and more than 80% of physicians' offices have not taken sufficient action to deal with the computer glitch that will cause uncounted computers and computer chip–driven equipment to misread the year 2000 as 1900.

To help physicians and others administer appropriate preventive care to their computers, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) has launched a toll-free telephone line, (800) 958-4232, to offer assistance. HCFA has also posted materials about Y2K readiness on the agency's Web site at http://www.medicare.gov/y2k.