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 MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Medical Alley Technology Task Force today released a report recommending ways to help ensure that health care technology is adopted and used appropriately, maximizing high quality, cost effective care for patients.
 The task force, which spent the past year developing these recommendations for the Medical Alley trade association, comprised 17 senior executives representing all sectors of Minnesota's diverse health care industry. The group's report has been adopted by Medical Alley's board of directors.
 "Dramatic changes in the delivery of health care services, together with costs that continue to rise much faster than those for other types of goods and services, require that more informed choices be made regarding technologies," said James V. Toscano, chairman of Medical Alley and executive vice president, Park Nicollet Medical Foundation.
 "We all are aware that total health care resources are limited; therefore, it is extremely important to examine how and when technology is used, both to minimize misuse and to maximize applications of technologies that both enhance cost effectiveness and improve health outcomes for patients," said Toscano, who also served on the task force.
 Task force recommendations include criteria for the following:
 -- Prioritization of technologies for assessment;
 -- Evaluation of whether a technology demonstrates the essential characteristics of safety, clinical effectiveness, ability to improve patients' health outcomes and cost effectiveness;
 -- Diffusion and use of technology by providers; and
 -- Development of practice parameters for health care providers.
 The task force report also calls for the development of public and private policies to address other issues, including: patient expectations; legal reform in the areas of antitrust and liability; provisional insurance coverage for technologies undergoing clinical trials; and collaborative research efforts.
 Toscano explained, "All recommendations were developed based on the principles of preserving and nurturing innovation while providing guidance -- in the form of standardized assessment criteria -- to help ensure that patients have appropriate access to health care technology.
 "We trust that our report will be of use to health care researchers, manufacturers, providers, managed care companies, regulators and consumers who are working to develop uniform standards for a complex continuum that includes the research and development, application and financing of new health care technologies."
 Copies of the Technology Task Force Report can be obtained by writing to Medical Alley, Traveler's Express Tower, Suite 725, 1550 Utica Avenue South, St. Louis Park, Minn., 55416-5307, or by calling 612-542-3077. The cost per copy is $30.
 Medical Alley is the trade association for Minnesota's health care industry, which is the state's leading industry. The association's membership encompasses leaders from the ranks of the state's health care delivery organizations and professionals, medical device manufacturers, researchers and managed care companies.
 Medical Alley Technology Task Force
 H. Clark Adams, vice president for business development and
 strategic planning, Pharmacia Deltec Inc.
 Henry Buchwald, M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery, University of
 Minnesota Medical Center.
 Norman Dann, partner, Pathfinder Venture Capital.
 Robert M. Dickler, general director, University of Minnesota
 Hospital and Clinic.
 K. James Ehlen, chief executive officer of MEDICA.
 Robert G. Hauser, M.D., president and CEO, Cardiac Pacemakers Inc.
 George J. Isham, M.D., medical director, MedCenters Health Plan.
 John E. Kralewski, Ph.D., professor of health services, University
 of Minnesota.
 Marlene E. Marschall (ex officio), Minnesota Commissioner of Health.
 Donald V. Murray, executive director of industry relations, 3M
 Health Care.
 Delwin K. Ohrt, M.D., vice president and medical director, Blue
 Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.
 Douglas N. Robinson, senior vice president, Fairview Hospitals &
 Health Care Services.
 Lawrence W. Shearon, vice president of corporate technology,
 Medtronic, Inc.
 Robert K. Spinner, president, Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
 James D. Stice, president, Flexmedics Corporation.
 James V. Toscano, executive vice president, Park Nicollet Medical
 Kent S. Wilson, M.D., board representative, Minnesota Medical
 -0- 11/9/92
 /CONTACT: Diane Rose/Nancy A. Johnson, both of Padilla Speer Beardsley, 612-871-8877, for Medical Alley; or Thomas L. Meskan, president of Medical Alley, 612-542-3077/ CO: The Medical Alley Technology Task Force ST: Minnesota IN: MTC SU:

AL -- MN004 -- 8583 11/09/92 10:01 EST
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Date:Nov 9, 1992

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