About

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Andrew T. Gillies is Director of Communications at the Center for Audit Quality, an affiliate of the American Institute of CPAs, in Washington, DC. Based in Washington since 2002, he has also worked in editorial and communications roles at the Investment Company Institute, the World Bank, Forbes, and Vault.com. His policy-themed writing has focused on aerospace and defense, energy and environment, transportation, and financial services.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Perot Systems Wants To Help Cure Health Care

WASHINGTON, DC - Interest in upgrading America's health care information technology runs high in Washington. President George W. Bush promised more health IT in his recent State of the Union address, several related bills are bouncing around Capitol Hill and more legislation is likely to be introduced this spring.

Why the clamor for health tech? Pols, academics and think tankers, no matter what their political stripe, see technology as one way to duck the approaching tsunami of baby-boomer health expenses. The private sector is interested too. "Starbucks now spends more on health care than it does on coffee beans," said Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), at an event organized by that group last week.

No surprise, Wall Street has also taken a shine to the area. Consider outfits like software developer Cerner and Omnicell, which makes items like computerized medication dispensing systems. Both stocks have surged in the past year and now sport rich valuations.

Investors looking to play the trend should consider the big providers of technology services. The stocks look reasonably priced and the companies could have an important role as health care wires up. One in particular to watch here: Perot Systems. At that same PPI event in Washington last week, Dr. Richard Pico, Perot's chief medical and technology officer, elaborated on how its offerings could link up U.S. health care interests.

Full story at Forbes.com