House considers new healthcare IT bill
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., have introduced H.R. 3800, the Promotion of Health Information Technology (HIT) Act.

According to both representatives, the bill proposes an accelerated adoption of HIT to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. healthcare system.

“Speeding the adoption of HIT will have a powerful effect on enhancing patient safety, reducing medical errors, improving the quality of care and reducing healthcare costs,” said Eshoo, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. “The Promotion of Health Information Technology Act will ensure that the federal government will foster the development and implementation of advanced health IT networks and technologies in our country,” added Eshoo.

The bipartisan Promotion of HIT Act will increase the deployment of HIT by streamlining the adoption process of interoperability standards. The bill requires the government to follow standards, and authorizes funding for a nationwide adoption.
Specifically, the legislation:
  • Establishes the position of a national coordinator for HIT within the Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate the exchange of interoperable health information and coordinate the government's HIT activities;
  • Creates the Partnership for Health Care Improvement, a public-private advisory body to recommend or endorse appropriate HIT interoperability standards and timeframes for adoption;
  • Authorizes funding for grants to assist state and local governments adopt HIT within their states, provides incentives for utilizing broadband to deliver HIT in underserved areas and authorizes funding to train qualified HIT professionals; and
  • Protects patients and their sensitive medical information by establishing a system to certify EHR products, giving patients the right to inspect and obtain a copy of their EHR and to correct any inaccurate or fraudulent information.
Currently, the bill has been referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.